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  • Place of origin:

    Brazil (made)

  • Date:

    1880s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Natté, M. & E. Melles (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stuffed bird, feathers, wrapped silk, ivory, glued beetle

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Margaret S. Perkin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

During the last three decades of the 19th century there was a passion for using parts of dead animals as ornaments, both for the person and the home. This craze intensified during the 1880s, and in spite of numerous contemporary articles exposing the barbarities inherent in this trade, the fashion persisted.

The fan shown here has a stuffed hummingbird amidst feathers and down from a variety of exotic birds. The spray of roses and leaves are actually made of pink, white and green feathers. Resting on the feather foliage are three real beetles. Fans like this one would be intended to enhance the fashions worn at balls, soirées, theatres and weddings.

Physical description

Fan composed of an ivory handle, base of pink feathers and centre of fluffy white marabou down with a stuffed hummingbird perching on sprays of roses and leaves made of pink, white and green feathers. Stems of wire wrapped with silk. Three real beetles resting on the foliage. Still in its original box.

Place of Origin

Brazil (made)


1880s (made)


Natté, M. & E. Melles (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Stuffed bird, feathers, wrapped silk, ivory, glued beetle


Height: 415 mm, Width: 290 mm, Depth: 85 mm

Object history note

Fans such as this one were called feather flowers by the manufacturer, and stated on the box for 'fashions for balls, soirées, theatres and weddings'.

Descriptive line

Fan of feathers with stuffed hummingbird and beetles.


Feather; Silk; Ivory


Stuffing; Wrapping; Glueing


Accessories; Fashion; Images Online; Evening wear; Fans


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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