Circa mid to late 19th century 18-stick celluloid and paper mounted personal fan with a gilt metal suspension, signed by 21 notable personages from the upper echelons of the literary, artistic and social milieu of the period, signatures include Princess Helena of the United Kingdom (1846-1923), 3rd daughter and 5th child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; Henry James (1843-1916), American author considered to be among the greatest novelists in the English language, his works include “The Portrait of a Lady”, “The Ambassadors”, “The Wings of the Dove” etc; Bret Harte (1836-1902), American short story writer and poet and US Consul in Glasgow 1880-1885; Sir Laurence Alma-tadema (1836-1912), Dutch born renowned painter of late 19th century Britain, admired for his superb draughtsmanship and depictions of classical antiquity; Laura Alma-tadema (1852-1909), English painter and second wife of Laurence Alma-tadema; Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the pre-Raphaelite movement, who worked closely with William Morris on a wide range of decorative arts as a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co; Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), English composer who, with W S Gilbert, established the distinctive English form of the operetta and whose works together won lasting international acclaim; Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940), English novelist, biographer, memoirist and short story writer, author of “Mapp and Lucia” series of novels etc; Annie S Swan (1860-1943), Scottish journalist, novelist and story writer, popular for her romantic fiction for young women during the Victorian era; W E H Lecky (1838-1903), Irish historian of rationalism and the European morals, whose study of Georgian England became a classic; Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley (1833-1913), Anglo-Irish officer in the British Army, one of the most influential and admired British generals who served in Burma, The Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, China, Canada and widely throughout Africa; Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), author, playwright, who wrote children’s novels including the classics “Little Lord Fauntleroy” and “The Secret Garden”; Sir John Hare (1844-1921), English actor and manager of The Garrick Theatre in London from 1889 to 1895; Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall (1835-1911), British civil servant, literary historian and poet, who served in India in the Civil Service and wrote on Indian history; Sir Henry Thompson, 1st Baronet (1820-1904), surgeon, artist, Chinese porcelain collector and general polymath; Sir Lewis Morris (1833-1907), academic, politician and popular poet of the Anglo-Welsh school; George Henry Boughton (1833-1905), Anglo-American landscape and genre painter, born in Norwich, emigrated to the United States and whose painting “God Speed! Pilgrims setting out for Canterbury” was appreciated by Vincent Van Gogh and is now part of the collection of the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam; Sir Edward John Poynter, 1st Baronet (1839-1919), English painter, designer, and draughtsman who served as President of the Royal Academy, exponent of Victorian neo-classicism; Sarah Grand (1854-1943), Irish feminist writer whose work revolved around the new woman ideal; Lady Dorothy Stanley (1855-1926), Victorian neo-classicist British painter, nee Dorothy Tennant, wife of Henry Morton Stanley (married 1890); Caroline Blanche Elizabeth (nee FitzRoy), Lady Lindsay (1844-1912), writer and patron of the arts, wife of Sir Coutts Lindsay, co-founder and funder of the Grosvenor Gallery with her husband from 1877 until their separation in 1882, each individual signature on a separate leaf of the fan, with the exceptions of Sir Garnet Wolseley and Princess Helena (together on one leaf) and Laurence Alma-tadema and Laura Alma-tadema (together on one leaf), each of the signatures clear and distinct in various pens and inks, the vast majority black, many of the signatures possibly obtained at the opening of the Grosvenor Gallery, New Bond St, London, May 1877? some signatures post-dating that event, probably collected simultaneously at a later event, the fan conceivably owned by the daughter of Lady Blanche Lindsay and passed on from mother to daughter, as was a common custom in the Victorian/Edwardian period, approx length 350mm
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