of Antique Face Screens in wood decorated in penwork. C. 1820.
cultural confusion displayed in the decoration of these screens is part
of their charm. They are a symbol of the social and cultural history of
the time, a frozen moment of a person’s interpretation of “
decoration is in the Chinoiserie tradition. Leaves dwarf people, a palm
tree is short and weak and the fences are arbitrary. There are the rocks
characteristic of Chinese gardens and a large exotic bird whose tail
reaches out to the Girl’s skirt.
one screen the figures are of two European young women strolling in the
exotic garden. There are baskets for collecting-fruit?
On the other the
women, who could be the same two, are in oriental dress. One of them
holds up an oriental looking umbrella.
pictures are framed with drawings of flowers, oak leaves and acorns.
These are not particularly oriental, but rather abstractions of flora
and look more domestic.
coat of arms is drawn very skilfully and shows a professional degree of
expertise. The sharp definition and fine lines attest to a firm and
experienced hand. The surround is drawn with flowers and leaves arranged
in a symmetrical way. There is more than a hint of neoclassicism in the
arrangement, but it is interspersed with flowers with unruly petals
which hint at naturalism. Even the acanthus leaves are a little too
lively. The artwork on this side is more formal and sharp, although it
does not match the charm of the other side.
elegant handles are carved in ebony with ornamental turning and other
turning in ivory in an ambitious time-consuming design.
; Circa: 1820 ; Materials:
wood and ivory
Size: Screen 21.5 cm
wide by 17 cm; handle 23.2 cm long: 8.5 inches wide by 6.6
inches; handle 9.2 inches.
refer to the above photographs for details of condition. Varnish peeling
and broken and glued in the past. Tip of one handle missing.