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Fans
The City Museum holds an exceptional collection of hand fans, which comprises more than 700 objects dating from the 18th century through the 1920s and includes examples of painted, printed, brisé, and folding feather fans, as well as hand screens. This selection of fans, digitized with the assistance of the Fan Association of North America (FANA), maps a material history of opulent tastes and luxuries. The Museum is also grateful to FANA for their input on developing cataloging guidelines and additions to the lexicon specific to fans.
Folding fan of painted silk leaf

Folding fan of painted silk leaf

Recto: 18th-century pastoral scene. Verso: gold tracery and floral clusters. Mother of pearl monture,...

Folding fan of white and lavender painted palmettes

Folding fan of white and lavender painted palmettes

Jenny Lind-style fan of white and lavender painted palmettes. Pierced mother of pearl monture; steel...

À la cathédrale-style fan of horn, with box

À la cathédrale-style fan of horn, with box

Horn blades, finely carved Gothic-style motifs, pierced, gilded; inlaid silver disks; white silk connecting...

Folding fan of hand-painted silk-covered paper leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted silk-covered paper leaf

Hand-painted white silk broadcloth-covered paper leaf, upper border white down edged. Pierced bone monture....

Folding fan with painted scenes of a couple at the altar of love

Folding fan with painted scenes of a couple at the altar of love

Fan of white silk leaf. Recto: depicting three painted asymetrically-placed vignettes, central allegorical...

Ivory brisé fan with painted violets and forget-me-nots spelling out "Marie"

Ivory brisé fan with painted violets and forget-me-nots spelling out "Marie"

Translucent ivory blades, painted violets, forget-me-nots spelling out "Marie" in italic script.

Folding fan of hand-painted skin leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted skin leaf

Hand-painted cream skin leaf. Recto: mythological scene depicting Ceres (probably) borne in a cloud on...

Brisé fan with painted decoration of violets

Brisé fan with painted decoration of violets

White-painted wooden blades, pierced upper zone painted with violets and foliage, central violet nosegay....

Fixed fan of bundled natural turkey feathers

Fixed fan of bundled natural turkey feathers

Two flat, flaring tiers of natural turkey feathers. Cylindrical woven handle of natural quills held by...

Folding fan of kidskin leaf depicting the Empress Eugenie and the newborn Dauphin of France

Folding fan of kidskin leaf depicting the Empress Eugenie and the newborn Dauphin of France

Kidskin leaf, hand-painted lithograph, central cartouche depicting Empress Eugenie with newborn Dauphin...

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Black Chantilly lace leaf with floral motifs overlaying white silk. Mother of pearl monture.

Folding fan painted with a group of figures in garden

Folding fan painted with a group of figures in garden

Paper leaf, painted, group of aristocratic figures in 18th-century dress in a garden setting. Gilt-outlined...

Folding fan with hand-toned engraved mythological vignette

Folding fan with hand-toned engraved mythological vignette

Paper leaf engraved and toned monochromatic vignette, depicting child being taught to shoot a bow by...

Folding fan of white satin damask leaf

Folding fan of white satin damask leaf

Woven foliate design; mother of pearl monture.

Folding fan of painted silk leaf

Folding fan of painted silk leaf

Cream silk leaf, painted Renaissance figures in a garden. Mother of pearl monture, pierced, carved, and...

Folding fan painted with violet sprigs

Folding fan painted with violet sprigs

Tan silk leaf, painted with sprigs of purple and white violets. Pierced ivory monture inset with steel...

Novelty parasol brisé fan of natural balsa wood

Novelty parasol brisé fan of natural balsa wood

Parasol (cockade) fan: natural balsa wood blades threaded with white ribbon. Brass shaft (unmarked) with...

Fan of painted blue silk palmettes and original box

Fan of painted blue silk palmettes and original box

Jenny Lind-style fan of blue silk palmettes with painted floral spray. Pierced bone sticks. Original...

Fan of red silk palmettes

Fan of red silk palmettes

Jenny Lind-style fan of red silk palmettes edged with white down feathers, applied spangles. Natural...

Fan of pheasant feathers

Fan of pheasant feathers

Fontange-style folding fan; pheasant feather blades. Tortoise shell monture; brown silk connecting ribbon;...

Folding fan of gilt spangled silk organza leaf

Folding fan of gilt spangled silk organza leaf

Ecru silk organza leaf embroidered with gilt spangles. Fretted and pierced ivory monture.

Folding fan of white silk gauze leaf hand-painted with butterflies

Folding fan of white silk gauze leaf hand-painted with butterflies

White silk gauze leaf, hand-painted with scattered vividly depicted butterflies and bees. Pierced ivory...

Folding fan of spangled black tulle leaf with painted floral motifs

Folding fan of spangled black tulle leaf with painted floral motifs

Narrow leaf in black tulle, evenly spaced silver spangles; hand-painted bouquets and wreaths of roses;...

Folding fan with painted Rococo figural vignettes

Folding fan with painted Rococo figural vignettes

White silk leaf, painted with 18th century-attired barefoot shepherdess, her suitor, and seated upper-class...

Folding fan of black gauze with hand-painted birds

Folding fan of black gauze with hand-painted birds

Picot-edged black silk gauze leaf hand-painted with colorful singing birds perched on a willow branch....

Folding fan of hand-painted ecru silk gauze leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted ecru silk gauze leaf

Ecru silk gauze leaf with two hand-painted pastel-tinted floral clusters. Natural blond wooden monture....

Folding fan of painted silk, depicting Psyche surrounded by butterflies

Folding fan of painted silk, depicting Psyche surrounded by butterflies

Painted silk organza leaf, depicting reclining translucently-clad Psyche surrounded by butterflies and...

Brisé fan of pierced bone with painted Cupid

Brisé fan of pierced bone with painted Cupid

Bleached, pierced undulating bone blades drilled and inserted with silver spangles, central painted Cupid;...

Folding feathered fan of purple ostrich feathers

Folding feathered fan of purple ostrich feathers

Folding fan; curled purple ostrich feather blades. Sandalwood monture, pierced and carved.

Folding feathered fan of yellow ostrich feathers tipped with birds' heads

Folding feathered fan of yellow ostrich feathers tipped with birds' heads

Folding fan; yellow ostrich blades, each tipped with rooster head facsimiles. Dark tortoise shell monture....

Fixed feather wedding fan in white flight and egret feathers

Fixed feather wedding fan in white flight and egret feathers

Fixed wedding fan of white rippled and curled duck or chicken flight feathers, central spray of egret...

Folding fan of cream lace leaf

Folding fan of cream lace leaf

Cream Brussels point de gaze lace leaf. Pierced and carved mother of pearl monture.

Folding fan of pink lace leaf

Folding fan of pink lace leaf

Pink Brussels lace leaf overlaying white satin. Mother of pearl monture.

Folding fan of hand-painted silk organza leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted silk organza leaf

Ecru silk organza leaf hand-painted with decoratively-rendered shepherdess, suitor and birds; gilt scrolling...

Brisé fan with painted ivory blades

Brisé fan with painted ivory blades

Green silk ribbon binding. Recto: costumed figures in outdoor clearing with trees and classical buildings...

Folding fan of black satin with painted scene

Folding fan of black satin with painted scene

Black satin leaf, painted scene depicting man and woman in historicized costume in outdoor setting. Smoky...

Folding fan of painted, gilded, and embroidered black silk leaf

Folding fan of painted, gilded, and embroidered black silk leaf

Black silk chiffon leaf, white silk floss, floral and foliate embroidery, painted and gilded stemmed...

Folding fan of hand-painted paper leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted paper leaf

Narrow, hand-painted paper leaf. Recto: pastoral court scene, gilded floral border. Verso: river scene...

Folding fan of cream lace leaf

Folding fan of cream lace leaf

Cream Brussels point-de-gaze lace leaf, EB monogram with crown at center. Tortoise shell monture; black...

Folding fan of hand-painted paper leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted paper leaf

Paper leaf hand-painted in gouache depicting festive, crowded park setting with footbridge. Intricately...

Fixed fan of feathers and small taxidermied bird

Fixed fan of feathers and small taxidermied bird

White down feathers, wide red feather border, small taxidermied yellow bird (American goldfinch) affixed...

Brisé ivory fan with painted floral bouquet

Brisé ivory fan with painted floral bouquet

Raw ivory blades, central painted floral cluster of lillies of the valley, roses and violets, threaded...

Brisé fan of painted natural straw blades

Brisé fan of painted natural straw blades

Pierced and carved wooden sticks joined with woven natural straw blades, painted with forget-me-not wreathes...

Folding fan of painted skin leaf

Folding fan of painted skin leaf

Recto: woman in 18th-century dress surrounded by putti. Verso: single Cupid with bows entwined with gold...

Brisé fan of tortoise shell

Brisé fan of tortoise shell

Tortoise shell blades; brown silk connecting ribbon.

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf with pattern of floral garlands and carnation bouquets. Monture...

Folding fan of painted brown maline

Folding fan of painted brown maline

Brown silk maline leaf with rounded scalloped upper edge, painted with birds and thorn-laden branches....

Folding fan of painted blue satin leaf

Folding fan of painted blue satin leaf

Pale blue satin leaf, Spanish scene depicting park and water in gouache. Ebony carved and pierced monture;...

Folding feathered fan of white marabou feathers

Folding feathered fan of white marabou feathers

Folding fan of white maribou feather blades. Mother of pearl monture, oval silver framed mirror on proper...

Folding feathered fan of black iridescent feathers

Folding feathered fan of black iridescent feathers

Folding fan; black iridescent feather blades, scattered red, green feather tufts. Tortoise shell monture,...

Folding fan of painted purple silk leaf

Folding fan of painted purple silk leaf

Painted with scrolling foliate and vine design, with monogram AHE; black lace edging at top. Black wood...

Brisé fan of painted wood depicting pair of white doves

Brisé fan of painted wood depicting pair of white doves

Tracery-carved blonde wooden blades, undulating floral and figurative pattern offset by white translucent...

Brisé fan of spangled black silk moire

Brisé fan of spangled black silk moire

Jenny Lind-style fan of black silk moire palmettes, linearly embroidered in gilt sequins. Gilt-painted...

Wedding fan of cream lace leaf

Wedding fan of cream lace leaf

Cream Honiton lace leaf. Mother of pearl monture, gilded floral and bird decoration.

Folding fan of pale green silk

Folding fan of pale green silk

Pale green silk leaf, cut-out ovals with net insets; applied silver spangles in floral, leaf, and swag...

Folding fan of white mixed lace leaf

Folding fan of white mixed lace leaf

White mixed lace leaf, floral bobbin lace motifs and needle lace brides. Mother of pearl monture.

Folding fan with painted 18th-century scene

Folding fan with painted 18th-century scene

Paper leaf, painted with 18th-century scene. Carved mother of pearl monture, silver sticks, grapevine...

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Recto: black Chantilly lace over white satin leaf. Verso: white satin with painted floral motif, black...

Folding fan of black silk fabric and black silk net leaf

Folding fan of black silk fabric and black silk net leaf

Black silk fabric and black silk net leaf, applied silver spangle bowknots and monogram; Ebony monture,...

Brisé fan of tortoise shell

Brisé fan of tortoise shell

Tortoise shell blades; brown connecting ribbon; black silk tassel (tassel not shown in photograph.)

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