Fan thumbnail 1
Fan thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery

Fan

1850-1870 (made)
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Late 19th-century Japanese export fans were made in a wide variety of materials and forms. This fan has a double leaf painted with a different design on either side. Although it has relatively simple bamboo sticks, the guards, which would have been visible even when the fan was closed, are very ornate. The use of ivory encrusted with hardstones and other materials was a style of workmanship especially popular in the West. The high level of ornamentation on export fans is very different from what is found on fans for the native Japanese market. The use of subject matter such as women wearing kimono is also more typical of export than domestic products.

Time
The opening up of Japan in the mid-1850s after more than two centuries of seclusion from the rest of the world triggered a huge expansion in the manufacture of export goods in various media. These were avidly bought by western collectors, artists and designers, and played a central role in the development of 'Japonisme' and then art nouveau.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bamboo, painted silk, ivory encrusted with hardstones, horn and coloured ivory
Brief Description
Painted fan, bamboo, painted silk, ivory encrusted with hardstones, horn and coloured ivory, Japan, 1850-1870
Dimensions
  • Height: 27.2cm
  • Maximum, open width: 42.2cm
  • Maximum, open depth: 2.4cm
  • Tassel length: 13cm
Dimensions checked: measured; 12/01/1999 by sf tassel - extra 13 cm long
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Fans were one item that people wishing for the 'Japanese look' could easily afford. This is a particularly good example, however, and would have been relatively expensive. Fans were bought to be used or, more often, to add a touch of the exotic to the decoration of the drawing room.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt and Lady Wyatt
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
Late 19th-century Japanese export fans were made in a wide variety of materials and forms. This fan has a double leaf painted with a different design on either side. Although it has relatively simple bamboo sticks, the guards, which would have been visible even when the fan was closed, are very ornate. The use of ivory encrusted with hardstones and other materials was a style of workmanship especially popular in the West. The high level of ornamentation on export fans is very different from what is found on fans for the native Japanese market. The use of subject matter such as women wearing kimono is also more typical of export than domestic products.

Time
The opening up of Japan in the mid-1850s after more than two centuries of seclusion from the rest of the world triggered a huge expansion in the manufacture of export goods in various media. These were avidly bought by western collectors, artists and designers, and played a central role in the development of 'Japonisme' and then art nouveau.
Collection
Accession Number
2279-1876

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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