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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1880-1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Machine-embroidered satin in silks, edged with bobbin lace, backed with silk, mother-of-pearl, metal

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss M. E. Pleydell-Bouverie

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition

In the 1870s and 1880s, many fans and dresses were made of the same fabric. This was so that the two would match exactly. It is unusual for both dress and fan to survive. In this case, the unpicked dress panel accompanied the fan when it was bequeathed to the V&A. The use of machine embroidery on fan leaves developed during the period 1850 to 1900. It was first shown at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. The quality of machine embroidery soon rivalled that of hand needlework, and the mechanised version became a popular technique for embellishing both clothing and fans.

Physical description

Fan of machine-embroidered satin in silks, with polished mother-of-pearl sticks (probably Pinctada sp.), and guards. With a silvered loop for suspension. Edged with white Mechlin bobbin lace with a simple flower and scroll design. Backed with white silk.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1880-1890 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Machine-embroidered satin in silks, edged with bobbin lace, backed with silk, mother-of-pearl, metal


Height: 315 mm Open, Width: 600 mm Open

Object history note

RF number is 1965/2642.

Descriptive line

Fan of machine-embroidered satin in silks with mother-of-pearl sticks, Great Britain, 1880-1890


Silk (textile); Mother of pearl; Animal part - Pinctada sp.


Accessories; Textiles; Embroidery; Clothing; Fashion; Fans; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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