the face Screen up, keep the pesky flame away from your face and save face in more ways than
one. Using your face screen you could also avoid the eye of a disagreeable
acquaintance, stop an unpleasant encounter, create your own private face space.
are of course talking of a time when to be short on style was more of a crime
than to be short on principle. The face screen had to be a work of art. It was
an object for hiding your face, but also of exhibiting your intellectual,
artistic, creative and fashionable inner face.
Your choice said it all: did you
paint well, did you select well, did you commission well, was your needlework up
to scratch? You were aware that the
company would scrutinize your little screen, so you waved it elegantly on its
exquisite handle, wafting the scent of your erudition and asserting the
prodigiosity of your talent.
You made it known that you were interested in
botany, the classics, the orient; you visited interesting places, the theatre
and the cathedrals; you could paint, draw, embroider; you had the aesthetic
sensitivity which allowed you to combine different elements with artistry and
you had no time or inclination to make your own screen you made sure you chose
well. You selected a creation on paper or papier mâché painted by a trained
artist, or a talented gentle lady, who had hit hard times. Charles Dickens gives
us a glimpse of such artistically rich but financially stressed lives. The
subject of the art work could be chosen for its sheer beauty; birds, flowers,
swags in combinations of nature and fantasy in which golden rococo cartouches
caught the light and the eye of your friends.
beauty was not enough, you could give a hint of your inner self with gloomy
Gothic scenes, suggestive of moody introspection. You could also display your
interest in the theatre, the classics, Cathay or any other subject that opened a
window into your very soul. You could use different screens for different
occasions: Chinoiserie fancies for a ball, ruins for a cerebral gathering.
face screen was your shield, but also a trophy of your inner self; a pennant
marking your place in society.
current list of available Face Screens with prices.
Antique Boxes Tea Caddies Society
Japanned Papier Mâché and Tinware
Encyclopedia of Ephemera A Guide to the Fragmentary Documents by Maurice Rickards
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