The Christian Bauwens Fund has recently acquired a fan in mother of pearl and Brussels point de gaze lace, which had once belonged to Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. The fan will be exhibited at the MoMu in Antwerp.
The Christian Bauwens Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, has as its objective to preserve and promote miniature heritage of all periods and civilisations. This recently acquired fan will be entrusted to the MoMu (Fashion Museum) in Antwerp, once the museum’s restoration has been completed.
Dating from c.1880, the monture of the fan is in rose-coloured mother of pearl studded with silver and gold, whilst the decorative leaf is in point de gaze lace, a precious technique developed in the second half of the 19th century. This needlepoint lace is made using a single thread to form a network of embroidery stitches. The technique is also known as rose point lace (point de rose), referring to the flower that is often represented in floral designs.
Born in 1901, Princess Alice married the Duke of Gloucester, third son of King George V, in 1935, thus becoming the aunt of the present Queen Elizabeth II. Very active throughout her life, Princess Alice was Patron of the Guild of the Royal Hospital of St-Bartholomew for over sixty years. During World War II, she joined the British Red Cross and was the head of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) of the British Royal Air Force. She died on 29 October 2004, aged 102.