Fan

Archives | Marquesas Islands

Fan

Marquesas Islands

Exceptional Tahi’i fan

19th century
Carved wood and fibers
Height: 44 cm – 17 ¼ in.

Provenance
Field-collected by Herbert J. Allcroft in 1894-1895 during his “Trip Round the World”
Ex collection Allcroft, Stokesay Court, Shropshire, England
Ex Sotheby’s London, Stokesay Court, Shropshire sale, September 29th, 1994, Vol. III, lot 800
Ex collection Wayne Heathcote, New York
Ex important private collection, New York, acquired from the above

Published: Parcours des Mondes 2022
Sold
Veritable insignia of the right to command, fans were above all a sign of power and distinction. Only highly placed dignitaries, chiefs and princesses had the right to possess these objects of prestige, whose utilitarian function was to “prolong the effects of a beneficial breath of air” as explained by Marie Noëlle Ottino-Garanger in “Kannibals et Vahinés” (Chartres, 2002).
Fans were transmitted from generation to generation and were included in a family’s inalienable treasures. In the Marquesas Islands, the art of personal adornment reached the height of refinement and evocative force.

Regarding the Allcroft provenance, as noted by The British Museum, Herbert J. Allcroft (1865-1911) practiced as a barrister and inherited a fortune from the family glove-making firm of Dent & Allcroft. He and his wife Margaret set out for a round-the-world trip in the winter of 1894-1895 during which they purchased a large number of artworks, furniture and artifacts which were later shipped back to the family seat at Stokesay Court in Shropshire. The Allcroft collection (over 2000 works of art including this exceptional fan) remained at Stokesay for a whole century before being auctioned off in a historic sale by Sotheby's London (the "Stokesay Court, Shropshire" sale, 29th, 30th September and 1st October 1994).

« A Princess holding a fan and a Marquesan Chief »
Drawing by Max Radiguet (1816-1899),
Service historique de la Défense/département marine.

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