Princess's Victorian fan uncovered in Kenilworth

An ornate Victorian fan which belonged to a princess has been uncovered in Kenilworth.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 10:33 am
Notty Hornblower with the royal fan. Photo by Hansons Auctioneers

The fan was the property of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a member of the British royal family, a granddaughter of George III, grandmother of Edward VIII and George VI and great-grandmother of Elizabeth II. She held the title of Duchess of Teck through marriage.

The fan, which dates back to circa 1870s, was taken along to a free valuation event at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall, Warwick Road, and is expected to soar at auction when it goes under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers.

Notty Hornblower, vintage costume expert at Hansons, said: “It’s a beautiful object, made with Brussels lace and featuring carved and gilt-decorated mother-of-pearl sticks. It shimmers in the light and would have been a fitting royal fashion accessory.

Notty Hornblower with the royal fan. Photo by Hansons Auctioneers

“It was made by renowned fan makers J Duvelleroy, of London, and comes complete with its original box and receipt from 1978 when it was bought at auction for £75.

"It’s certainly worth much more than that now. Its estimate is being assessed but we could be looking at a four-figure sum.

“The vendor’s late mother was a collector of fans and she certainly excelled herself. It’s an exquisite object and the royal provenance is wonderful.”

Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge lived from 1833 to 1897. Despite a modest income by royal standards, she had expensive tastes and lived an extravagant life of parties, expensive food and clothes and holidays abroad.

The fan and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge in 1897. Photo by Hansons Auctioneers.

Hansons valuers will be back at St Francis of Assisi Church Hall, 110 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1HL, on August 8 and, as well as free antique valuations, their team will be holding an Oil Painting Restoration Day.