Mobile menu

Albert and Victoria gifted decorative objects featuring photographs

Emma Roberts (active 1861)

Osborne House fan 1861

Paper leaf; tortoiseshell guards set with ten hand-coloured photographic portraits (albumen prints) in silver-gilt frames; tortoiseshell sticks (2 + 16); gold and metal pin with foiled amethyst heads | 27.8 cm (guardstick) | RCIN 25385

Your share link is...


This fan depicting Osborne House was apparently commissioned by Queen Victoria as a souvenir of the family’s happy sojourns on the Isle of Wight. The guards are set with tiny photographic portraits of the five Princesses, Prince Albert and the four Princes. The leaves are signed by Emma Roberts, the daughter of the artist James Roberts, who was frequently employed by Queen Victoria at Osborne and other residences to record birthday tables and interiors. The front of the fan shows Osborne House set within a cartouche supported by putti. The ground around the cartouche is a deep blue covered with gold scrollwork. The reverse of the fan bears a trellis design around a central cartouche, which is heavy with flowers, and with the word Souvenir. In August 1861 Emma Roberts was paid for painting a fan for the marriage of Princess Alice, and it has been suggested that it may have been this fan, which remained unpresented owing to the postponement of the wedding and the changed circumstances following Prince Albert’s death.

Paper leaf, signed Em Roberts

Text adapted from Victoria & Albert: Art & Love, London, 2010
  • Creator(s)

    Emma Roberts (active 1861) (fan leaf painter)

    England (nationality)

    Family of Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom
    Prince Albert, Prince Consort (1819-61)
    Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom (1819-1901)
  • 27.8 cm (guardstick)

  • 'Osborne House'

  • Probably commissioned by Queen Victoria as a wedding gift for Princess Alice, but not presented

  • Object type(s)
      • costume
        • costume accessories
          • fans
            • folding fans
      • visual works
        • bibelots
        • photographs
    • People
      • Children
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Great Britain
          • England
            • Isle of Wight [England]
              • Osborne Estate [Isle of Wight]
                • Osborne House
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Botany
        • Systematic botany
          • Flowering plants