European Fan Designs
European Fans from the 18th Century
Intro to Eighteenth Century Fans
Fans were brought to Europe in the twelfth century and became popular in the sixteenth century. Fans became less popular in the late eighteenth century. Fans were used in daily life during the eighteenth century, and every class of woman owned one.
Why were fans so ornate and what were they made of?
Fans would be made of wood, bone, silk, beads, metal foil, mother of pearl and paper. These fans were very ornate and heavily painted. It depended on how rich you were to how ornate your fan was. An ornate fan was like a status symbol.
Fan from French Europe
This is a Fan from the late 18th century in France, during the Roccoco period.
A Feather fan from the 20th century
This is a feather court fan from the early 20th century. It was probably from South Africa, and it is made of ostrich plumes.
The Fan's Importance
The fan was aptly called "The Woman's Scepter". It was used in church, It was used to convey feelings, and as a status symbol.
Fan language was used by respectable ladies to convey feelings. Counting the sticks mean doubt, passing your fan from each hand is anger, and putting your fan over your heart means passionate love.
language of the fan
Most Popular fan
There were two main types of fans, the rigid fan, and the folding fan. The folding fan was more popular, probably because the folding fan was more compact.
Outro To Fans
As you have learned, fans had an important role in everyday life and social life. It is amazing how intricate the fan language is.
Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Fans, (Decorative Arts) ,Encyclopedia Britannica. 2009. Print.