Theatrical fan. The paper page is lithographed on a golden background; at the center, there’s a scene representing a love allegory, at the sides two Milan’s sights: the Cathedral and the Arc of the Peace (see Angeli dis. Inc.). In the middle, four medallions with the portraits of: Richard Boume, M.R.lle Gusman, Fanny Elssler and Louis Balzar.
On the recto a golden, cobalt blue lithography in a new-gothic style, it would seem to remind to the scrolls of the Cathedral of Milan.
The bone sticks are fretted and gold damascened, while the guards are covered by white, almost pink, pearl and they are fretted and damascened too.
Fanny Elssler, complete name Franziska Elssler, she was born in Gumpendorf 23th June 1810. She was one of the most beautiful and famous dancer of the “Romantic age”. She was very popular for a kind of dance called terre a terre opposed to that one of Maria Taglioni, called aerie'n. She performed in all the biggest theatres of the world and in front of all the European royal families. She was exuberant and she was considered a very sensual woman. As it’s demonstrated by her life, full of meetings and experiences. She retired in 1851 and she died in Vienna the 27th November of 1884.
Coming back to the fan, F. Degrada writes in “Verdi e la Scala” Rizzoli 2001 p. 22, “ at the Scala, the Austrian dancer F. Essler who, in the past seasons, had been hailed with a great enthusiasm, on 12 February 1848, she has been received by whistles and disapproval fits, she fainted on the scene..” she immediately left Milan forever.
The 18th March the town revolted against the Austrian oppression.
"Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail."
Leonardo Da Vinci
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