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Alice Loch (1840-1932)

Christmas fan 1881

Pale green satin leaf; plain mother-of-pearl guards and sticks (2 + 16); silver pin with mother-of-pearl head | 40.5 cm (guardstick) | RCIN 25197

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  • The name Alix, together with the decoration of holly, mistletoe and Christmas roses and the date 1881, indicates that this was a Christmas present to the future Queen Alexandra in 1881. The donor was Queen Victoria, who is know to have commissioned fans from Alice Loch (who signed the recto) at this period. As the fan box bears the trade label of Duvelleroy’s London branch, it seems clear that this firm was employed to mount Miss Loch’s painted leaves onto their mother-of-pearl guards and sticks.

    Alice Loch (1840-1932) lived at The Cottage, Bishopsgate, close to the south-eastern boundary of Windsor Great Park. The eldest of the five daughters of George Loch, QC, MP, she studied painting in Paris in the 1860s and won an Honourable Mention for an unmounted fan leaf at the Fan Makers Exhibition in 1878. Between 1883 and 1923 Alice’s sister, Emily (1848-1931), was Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria’s third daughter, Princess Christian, whose chief residence was Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park, close to Bishopsgate. According to Princess Marie Louise (Princess Christian’s daughter), during the troubled period of her marriage in the 1890s it was suggested that she should travel overseas. ‘My mother suggested that I should be accompanied by Alice Loch, the elder sister of her own lady-in-waiting. Alice was the greatest fun imaginable; brilliantly clever, she painted beautifully, was absolutely devoted to me, and we were the closest friends.’

    A preliminary sketch for this fan is in the collection of Duncan and Judith Poore, members of the Loch family. Another Alice Loch fan with royal provenance is painted with orange blossom. It appears to have been produced as a wedding gift - probably also from Queen Victoria - to Princess Louise of Prussia, who married (in March 1879) Queen Victoria’s third son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. A small number of other Loch fans are known.

    Pale green satin leaf, signed A.H. LOCH

    Text adapted from Unfolding Pictures: Fans in the Royal Collection 2005

    Commissed by Queen Victoria as a present for Alexandra, Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra), Christmas 1881

  • Medium and techniques

    Pale green satin leaf; plain mother-of-pearl guards and sticks (2 + 16); silver pin with mother-of-pearl head


    40.5 cm (guardstick)