We don’t have an image of this object online yet. V&A Images may have a photograph that we can’t show online, but it may be possible to supply one to you. Email us at vaimages@vam.ac.uk for guidance about fees and timescales, quoting the accession number: 2186-1876
Find out about our images

Not currently on display at the V&A

Fan

1765 - 1775 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is a folding fan. It is made with a pleated, decorated leaf attached to a set of carved and pierced ivory sticks. A fan was an essential accessory in the formal dress of a wealthy woman. Although its original function was to cool the face, the fan soon became an important tool in non-verbal communication. The manner in which a lady held and moved her fan conveyed her feelings toward those around her. The fan leaf shows an image of a finely dressed young man and woman in the costume of the 1770's, standing together in conversation. The delicately painted figures stand within an idyllic pastoral landscape scene. It has been suggested that pastoral images often found on fans were visions of escape to the countryside for wealthy people adapted by fan painters from the art and literature popular at the time. This fan is decorated using a variety of materials and techniques. The fan maker has imaginatively used shiny and coloured materials such as dyed straw, feathers and sequins to give added richness of colour. These materials would catch and reflect candlelight. Applied feathers are used to make two pheasants at either side of the fan leaf, shown perching on branches. The same techniques are used to depict two winged insects nearby, while coloured straw is used to represent foliage.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silk mount, painted with applied spangles, cut straw and feathers. Carved and pierced ivory sticks and guards with applied silver and gold jewelled studs
Brief Description
Painted silk with applied cut straw, feathers and spangles and ivory guards and sticks, England, 1765-1775
Physical Description
Silk mount, painted central group dressed in late 1760s/early 1770s fashion standing in a landscape, encircled by tiny metal spangles and expanding outwards from the circle, wreaths of flowers, birds and butterflies. Painted stems and branches with cut straw in shape of petals, dyed pastel green and apricot, forming flowers. Birds plumage and butterflies wings made up of applied feathers. The whole mount encirled by tiny spangles and edge of the mount painted gold and red swirling border. Ivory sticks and guards, carved and pierced with applied silver and gold jewelled studs.
Dimensions
  • Length: 275mm
  • Width: 514mm
Width measurement when fan fully open
Summary
This is a folding fan. It is made with a pleated, decorated leaf attached to a set of carved and pierced ivory sticks. A fan was an essential accessory in the formal dress of a wealthy woman. Although its original function was to cool the face, the fan soon became an important tool in non-verbal communication. The manner in which a lady held and moved her fan conveyed her feelings toward those around her. The fan leaf shows an image of a finely dressed young man and woman in the costume of the 1770's, standing together in conversation. The delicately painted figures stand within an idyllic pastoral landscape scene. It has been suggested that pastoral images often found on fans were visions of escape to the countryside for wealthy people adapted by fan painters from the art and literature popular at the time. This fan is decorated using a variety of materials and techniques. The fan maker has imaginatively used shiny and coloured materials such as dyed straw, feathers and sequins to give added richness of colour. These materials would catch and reflect candlelight. Applied feathers are used to make two pheasants at either side of the fan leaf, shown perching on branches. The same techniques are used to depict two winged insects nearby, while coloured straw is used to represent foliage.
Collection
Accession Number
2186-1876

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 21, 2002
Record URL