...but still a treasure. This late 18th-century French silk bridal fan was a gift from a dear friend, a former antiques dealer. As the fan's silk has sustained heavy foxing, I took it to a Paris artisan specialising in textile restoration. He advised the fan is "a museum piece" and too fragile for repairs.
But the sentimentality behind the bridal fan makes it special, no matter its damaged condition. The flocked and hand-woven lace is 19th-century. It once was draped over a fireplace mantel in a Loire Valley chateau.
I prefer treasures with little imperfections and the patina of wear. If an antique appears too pristine, one should wonder about its origins and what restoration work may have gone unreported. Rather like aging - one can age gracefully, with the accompanying lines and battle scars or go to the plastic surgeon and have all signs of character and individuality replaced with a bland expressionless stare.
Why do so many Hollywood actresses seem to be resorting to that these days? It seems a sad commentary on Western society that prizes youth and looks above all else, while ignoring substance and wisdom gained with age. Yet another example of the "entertainment lite" celebrity culture dominating the media, with too many people never looking beyond the surface to see what's happening around them.