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.

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

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.