We promised you a closer look at a fan painted by Walter Sickert from our Museum of the Month, and we keep our promises. On display in the permanent collection, this fan was made around 1889 (when Sickert was not dusting himself off after the Ripper murders, thank you Patricia Cornwell) as a gift for his painter friend Florence Pash. The Museum acquired the piece in 2004 through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and donations.
The fan is painted in gouache on vellum and mounted onto a grey mother of pearl monture (that's the proper name for the sticks and guards). It's a copy of his painting Little Dot Hetherington at The Old Bedford (an old music hall venue in Camden). Little Dot is singing The Boy I Love Is Up In The Gallery, a song made famous by Marie Lloyd. Of Little Dot herself, much assiduous Googling only throws up references to her because of Sickert's painting. The image has been slightly altered from the original to fit the fan leaf, which Sickert and his more famous contemporaries - like Degas - were experimenting with.
You can see the Sickert fan at The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill Greenwich. With thanks to Alexandra Moskalenko for her help.