A PAIR OF ARMENIAN SILVER-GILT LITURGICAL FANS, TURKEY, 18TH CENTURY
both worked in repoussé with engraved and punched details featuring seraphim in raised roundels and along the edges, later inscriptions to centre and date (1866), each with bespoke stand
Silver-gilding rubbed resulting in some discoloration, also tarnishing, both with breaks around intersection of the handle and fan as well as evidence of a previous panel being attached (old pin marks), some dents, scratches and wear as consistent with age and use, one with section of fan partly disconnected from framework of body, as viewed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The shape and decorative scheme of these liturgical fans has existed since at least the eighth century as indicated by a pair attributed to Egypt, eight-ninth century, in the Brooklyn Museum, New York (inv.nos. 46.126.1 and 46.126.2, illustrated in New York 2012, pp.72-3, nos.44A,B). The present pair of liturgical fans were probably produced in Turkey as souvenirs for the pilgrims’ journey to Jerusalem, or to bring to Jerusalem as homage to the Church. Seraphim rank highest in the traditional hierarchy of angels, and as such are closest to God, as demonstrated by their missing bodies. In any case, these examples present a fascinating insight into early Armenian customs as well as craftsmanship relating to the ritual of pilgrimage. These are related to a pair of candlesticks, parcel silver-gilt with relief decoration centred on Seraphim with an Armenian dedicatory inscription, offered in these rooms, 22 April 2015, lot 257.