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Venus and Adonis: M.127-2015

An image of Folding fan

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Venus and Adonis


Maker: Unknown




Folding fan, depicting Venus and Adonis.
Paper leaf, hand-coloured etching sprinkled with gold and mother-of-pearl dust, on pierced and fretted ivory sticks


History note: Lennox Boyd Estate. Christie's no. 258

Legal notes

Accepted by H. M. Government in lieu of inheritance tax from the Lennox Boyd Estate

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Allocated (2015-04-27) by H.M. Government


18th Century
Production date: circa AD 1750


The mythological Roman lovers, Venus and Adonis, are frequently depicted on fan leaves, echoing art from this time. This fan is an example of how appearances can be deceptive. Although the sky is now red, it was originally white. The radical change in colour is due to corrosion of the lead component in the white paint.

This fan forms part of the collection of the Hon. Christopher Lennox Boyd, allocated to the Museum by H.M. Government in lieu of inheritance tax in 2015. The collection of over 600 fans ranges in date from the 18th to the 20th centuries and in type from bejewelled and hand-painted court and wedding fans, to printed mass-produced advertising fans, aide-memoire fans, mourning fans and children’s fans.

Components of the work

Leaf composed of paper
Sticks, Guards composed of ivory

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.127-2015
Primary reference Number: 204691
Sale number: 258
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Friday 24 July 2015 Updated: Tuesday 26 October 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Venus and Adonis" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 12:27:31

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{{cite web|url= |title=Venus and Adonis |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-18 12:27:31|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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