Object Place: Italy
Guard: 24.4 cm (9 5/8 in.); maximum open: 45.5 (17 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Silk leaf printed and painted; wood sticks; ivory; mother-of-pearl
Not On View
White silk leaf. Ivory wheels, set into the tops of the guards, activate a conversation game in which questions and answers with a romantic flavor are exchanged. (The language is a Roman dialect.) Center vignette of woman with fan telling fortune to woman and man; twenty questions (“Dimande”) left, twenty responses (“Riposte”) right, center inscription “Scaltra Maniera di Conoscere I Fatti Altrui” (Cunning manner of recognizing actions of others); birds, flowers and leaves surround. Eighteen dark polished wood sticks with mother-of-pearl thumbpieces.
Gift of Esther Oldham to MFA, June 9, 1976.