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Item Sold
Item condition:
--not specified
Aug 23, 2012 17:34:47 PDT
Winning bid:
US $305.00
14 bids ]
$7.20 Expedited Shipping | See details
Item location:
United States


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Item specifics


Pre-1901 (Victorian & Older)


Carved Ox Bone - Feather

Vintage Type:

True Vintage


Chinese - Oriental



Scrimshw Initials:

Oriental Painted Fan

Charming old Chinese Trade import ox bone & duck or white peacock feather fan from the Victorian era, probably dating around the 1850's -70's.  On the the leaves of the fan are richly colored, hand-painted scene depicting Mandarin birds ( maybe pheasants?) & wild roses, their stems & leaves. There is also a small painting of wild roses & stems that is repeated on the reverse.The finely carved ox bone ribs are very thin, transluscent in certain light ... have a carved center oval motif of Oriental design that is pierced through, forming open work in the overlapping ribs. Two ribs also bear the delicate scrimshaw 1 1/8" initials 'C M' in Old English script lettering.  The lengths of the guardsticks are both intricately carved with various & minutely detailed scenes.  The white duck feathers are stitched with a single thread through the upper section of each feather, to hold them in place. It has an ornately shaped tassel ring, but no tassel.

This beauty is exactly as I bought it almost 20 years ago... it came wrapped in tissue paper, stored in a vintage cardboard beeswax candle box.  The fan in very good condition for its 140-odd years, but it does have a few issues.  There are a few bug holes scattered about the feather leaves & some damage is seen at the top edges of several as well. (If they really worry you, the good hands of a restorer could tidy up those feather tips , but I'd definitely leave that job to a professional.)  The quill ends of the feathers, that fit on the points of the rib slips have also seen better days ... some are split. some are broken .. this damage is only seen on the reverse. But they are all attached, though some have been re-glued at some point. A few of the feathers have some & splitting & curling along their lengths. The rivet is also a bit loose, but the threaded feathers hold everything in order. A good restorer could most likely fix those too.  

The fan measures 18" in width open & is 10 1/2" in height.

In the Victorian era, fans were a means of of communication, whenever young ladies & gents intermingled. The Young Ladies Home Journal of 1872 reported on the significance of each charming gesture.  You'll need these:

Fan fast ... I am independent
Fan slow ... I'm engaged
Fan, with right hand in front of face .. come on
Fan with left hand in front of face ... leave me
Fan open & shut ... kiss me
Fan open wide ... love
Fan half open ... friendship
Fan shut ... hate
Fan swinging .. can I see you home?
Fan twirling in right hand ... I am watching you
Fan drawn slowly across the cheek ... I love you
Resting fan on right cheek ... yes
Closed fan held behind the head ... don't forget me
Touching fan to left ear ... go away!

I know you're wondering if beeswax candle box comes this fan .... it does. 

I'll be happy to answer any questions I can, but please inquire before placing a bid. If you would like additional photos, just ask.

If you are the winner of this auction, Please Wait to receive an invoice from me before making payment. SHIPPING costs are to locations within the US.. Insured shipping cost is not included.  I pack all of my items extremely well, prepared for rough handling, however Insured shipping is recommended, and will depend on the closing auction price. If you are the winning bidder and wish to insure this item, let me know. I've also estimated the shipping costs toward the higher end. If necessary, I'll surely alter those costs to your location. Once again, US & International buyers: Please wait to receive an invoice from me before making payment. Thanks.

Payment via PayPal is fine, though I'll accept alternative payment methods. Let me know how you'd like to send payment & I'll see if I can accommodate.

... and a A PERSONAL NOTE: 'Downsizing' is becoming such a familiar term & I'm seeing it more & more. And since 'down-sizing' seems to be the name of the game these days ... yes, I'm jumping the band wagon.  Actually I've accumulated so many wonderful things over the years & have also been the grateful recipient of several kindred collections that span almost every era of desirable & well, collectible things ... that it's become difficult ... no, impossible... to enjoy each & every treasure as it should be enjoyed. Some of my most favorite things have lived in too many boxes packed up for some rainy day. And honestly, I've had every good intention of 'down-sizing' when down-sizing wasn't cool ... but you know how the best of good intentions sometimes go.  Some of these things are fine and elegant antiques, some are fine & primitive, some are vintage collectibles, some are simply odd & unusual, endearingly so .... and some have seen much better days in much better condition, that appreciation may take a special person with an certain appetite for old things to come along & save them from an unknown future of remaining unloved. It's a matter of the heart. 

And as an unimagined & completely unforeseen consequence, I've run out of space to sit things around in rooms & there's no more space to store all the boxes. This house is on the small side, as it is, and all the things & all the stacked boxes have suddenly struck me as ridiculously cramped ( I'll also admit I  caught a couple of episodes of "Hoarders" on NetFlix & though I don't consider myself a hoarder, but on a honorable mission to love & rescue certain things, I did feel a twinge or two of panic... and did some extended mirror-gazing)

So with all the intestinal fortitude I can muster, I'm biting the bullet & taking on a new mission: to find good homes & undying appreciation for these treasures. So I'm gathering up, unpacking, unwrapping & giving each one just a little attention, before I share it with you. You may then consider the perfect spot at your house where that wonderful thing can be fully appreciated or added to an established collection ... or perhaps some special someone you know, may truly deserve to have for their very own.

I'll list these wonderful things with opening bids, as low as I can possibly stand. I want to sell them & I know you'll want to buy them at a reasonable price. If an item is truly something rare or important in a museum-quality or antiquity kind of way, or even that I'm having an unusually hard time parting with it, I'll list those a bit higher, but still at the lower end of its true value. I'll do my best to make you happy.

So add me to your Favorite Sellers & check back often .. I'll be listing as furiously as possible.

Thanks for looking & placing a bid or two ... I appreciate your interest.

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