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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 iridescent green to tan gauze with painted flowers

Folding fan of iridescent green to tan gauze with painted flowers

Iridescent ombre green to tan gauze leaf, hand-painted floral design. Dyed mother of pearl (snail) monture....

Folding fan with handpainted figures and landscape

Folding fan with handpainted figures and landscape

Handpainted paper leaf. Recto: central motif depicts group of figures in historicized costume in outdoor...

Folding fan of kidskin leaf with painted pastoral figures

Folding fan of kidskin leaf with painted pastoral figures

Painted white kidskin leaf. Recto: three medallions among garlands of pink, blue and lavender flowers....

Brisé fan of brown speckled partridge feathers

Brisé fan of brown speckled partridge feathers

Folding fan; brown speckled partridge feather blades, graduated in size. Tortoise shell monture.

Folding fan of cream hand-painted silk palmette-shaped leaf

Folding fan of cream hand-painted silk palmette-shaped leaf

Cream silk leaf, hand-painted with urn of flowers, floral swags, laurel wreathes and crossed torches,...

Folding fan of net and silk with applied paillettes

Folding fan of net and silk with applied paillettes

White silk cut-outs applied on black net leaf; applied silver paillettes in foliate motif. Tortoise shell...

Folding fan of hand-painted skin leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted skin leaf

Empire skin leaf, hand-painted with portrait medallions depicting Madame Recamier and François-René de...

Folding fan with hand-painted lithograph scenes

Folding fan with hand-painted lithograph scenes

Paper double leaf. Recto: hand-painted lithograph, picturequely-clad maidens in idylic setting. Verso:...

Folding fan of sequined silk leaf

Folding fan of sequined silk leaf

Grey silk and tulle leaf, densely embroidered with pattern-embossed gilt sequins. Steel spangle-inset...

Folding fan of gilt-spangled ecru silk gauze

Folding fan of gilt-spangled ecru silk gauze

Ecru silk gauze leaf embroidered with Empire-revival wheat-sheaf wreaths and stars. Mother of pearl monture....

Folding fan of spangled black gauze leaf and machine lace insets

Folding fan of spangled black gauze leaf and machine lace insets

Sequin-embroidered black gauze leaf inset with bowknot-motif white machine lace. Carved and fretted silver...

Gilded wood brisé fan

Gilded wood brisé fan

Stylized floral-pierced and gilded wooden blades, black ribbon threaded.

Fixed feather fan of yellow ostrich and egret feathers

Fixed feather fan of yellow ostrich and egret feathers

Pale yellow or cream ostrich and white egret feathers. Ivory [bone?] or faux ivory carved handle with...

Folding fan of spangled ecru silk gauze

Folding fan of spangled ecru silk gauze

Ecru silk gauze embroidered in Empire-revival patterned gilt spangles. Ivory monture.

Folding feathered fan of hummingbird feathers

Folding feathered fan of hummingbird feathers

Hummingbird feather blades. Tortoise shell monture; silver inlaid monogram on guard; dark brown silk...

Folding fan depicting figures within ruin-filled rural setting

Folding fan depicting figures within ruin-filled rural setting

Paper leaf, engraved and hand-colored pastoral scene within central medallion, flanked by blue-and-white...

Folding fan of spangled blue silk

Folding fan of spangled blue silk

Paper-backed blue silk leaf; round and gold leaf-shaped embossed gilt spangles. Gilded and painted ivory...

Folding fan of white lace leaf

Folding fan of white lace leaf

White duchesse lace leaf. Pierced and carved mother of pearl monture, silver inlay, gilded floral and...

Painted Cabriolet folding fan

Painted Cabriolet folding fan

Painted double paper leaf. Recto: painted band, upper central portion depicting woman in front of a house...

Folding fan of painted lithographed paper leaf

Folding fan of painted lithographed paper leaf

Hand-painted lithographed glazed paper leaf. Recto: depicting Medieval figures set against landscape...

Painted folding fan

Painted folding fan

Painted paper leaf depicting mixed 17th, 18th and 19th century-attired figures within bucolic setting....

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Black Chantilly lace leaf with ESJ monogram at center. Mother of pearl monture.

Brisé fan of ivory with carved floral detail

Brisé fan of ivory with carved floral detail

Blunt-cut ivory guards and blades, outer guard deeply carved with ribbon-entwined flower, carved ivory...

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Black Chantilly lace overlaying white satin leaf, white swan feather trim at top edge. Mother of pearl...

Folding fan with painted pastoral vignettes

Folding fan with painted pastoral vignettes

Hand-painted paper leaf. Recto: pastoral vignettes with shepherdesses and other figures. Verso: single...

Folding fan of painted paper leaf

Folding fan of painted paper leaf

Hand-painted paper leaf depicting couple amidst shepherdesses and sheep. Mother of pearl-applied carved...

Folding feathered fan of iridescent feathers

Folding feathered fan of iridescent feathers

Small iridescent red and green feathers mounted onto blades. Ivory monture, cream silk connecting ribbon,...

Folding fan of gauze and lace with painted scene of maiden at well

Folding fan of gauze and lace with painted scene of maiden at well

Silk gauze leaf painted with scene of a maiden at well with two putti, edged with Brussels point lace....

Fixed feather fan of pale pink ostrich and egret

Fixed feather fan of pale pink ostrich and egret

Lyre-shaped fixed fan. Pale pink ostrich feathers, egret and down, with pink grosgrain bow at handle....

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Black Chantilly lace leaf, symmetrical floral vignette design. Tortoise shell monture; black silk tassel...

Folding fan of silk embroidered pink gauze leaf with painted birds

Folding fan of silk embroidered pink gauze leaf with painted birds

Pale pink silk gauze leaf painted with scattered birds in flight, interspersed with pastel silk embroidered...

Folding fan of painted white satin with original box

Folding fan of painted white satin with original box

A: White satin leaf fan painted with asymmetrical spray of pink roses, white daisies and blue forget-me-nots,...

Brisé fan of carved and pierced ivory with original case

Brisé fan of carved and pierced ivory with original case

Chinese pierced and carved ivory fan, very fine trellis ground with central monogrammed crest (proper...

Fixed feather fan of white marabou with taxidermied goldfinch

Fixed feather fan of white marabou with taxidermied goldfinch

White marabou, circular fixed fan; small taxidermied American goldfinch. Lathe-carved bone handle.

Folding fan with lithographed mythological scene on gilt paper ground

Folding fan with lithographed mythological scene on gilt paper ground

Ripple-embossed gilt paper leaf; hand-tinted lithograph print of Cupid and possibly Psyche in stylized...

Brisé fan of black lacquered wood

Brisé fan of black lacquered wood

Wooden sticks lacquered in black; gilded figural and foliate chinoiserie design; black connecting ribbon....

Folding fan with painted vignettes of the nine muses

Folding fan with painted vignettes of the nine muses

Paper leaf, painted garden scenes of classically-attired women engaged in artistic endeavors. Carved...

Folding fan with painted farm scene

Folding fan with painted farm scene

Hand-painted cream skin leaf. Recto: central medallion with pastoral farm; two side pictures in rectangular...

Folding fan of Brussels lace and white satin with original box

Folding fan of Brussels lace and white satin with original box

A: White satin leaf fan overlaid with Brussels lace with asymmetrical floral pattern. Monture of plain...

Folding fan with painted figure of a goddess

Folding fan with painted figure of a goddess

Leaf in cream gauze with painted scene of a cloud-borne goddess (probably Ceres). Mother of pearl monture....

Folding fan of rose satin

Folding fan of rose satin

Vivid rose silk satin leaf threaded through carved and pierced ivory sticks. Fretted and perforated monture,...

Folding feathered fan of ostrich feathers

Folding feathered fan of ostrich feathers

Folding feathered fan of natural brown and white ostrich plumes. Tortoise shell monture. Cluster of four...

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; cream silk tassel...

Folding fan with painted flowers on black background

Folding fan with painted flowers on black background

Black silk leaf, painted with naturalistic red and pink poppies, allium and vines. Tortoise shell monture....

Folding fan of aubergine voided chiné velvet maroon plush with printed floral and grape leaf

Folding fan of aubergine voided chiné velvet maroon plush with printed floral and grape leaf

Aubergine silk chiné-printed voided panne velvet floral and grape cluster leaf. Tortoise shell monture....

Folding fan of white gauze with painted goddess figure

Folding fan of white gauze with painted goddess figure

Silk gauze and inserted machine-lace leaf, painted with figure of a goddess seated on garland of pink...

Folding fan of tan silk with painted spray of chrysanthemeums

Folding fan of tan silk with painted spray of chrysanthemeums

Tan silk with painted spray of pink chrysanthemums. Mother of pearl monture.

Folding feather fan of deep purple ostrich and tortoise shell

Folding feather fan of deep purple ostrich and tortoise shell

Deep purple curled ostrich feathers in fontage formation, opening approximately 45 degrees; apex of feathers...

Folding feather fan

Folding feather fan

Folding fan, blades possibly of green peacock feathers or dyed and trimmed ostrich feathers. Dyed mother...

Folding feather fan of white ostrich

Folding feather fan of white ostrich

White curled ostrich feather blades. Monture of amber horn or celluloid.

Folding feathered fan of brown iridescent feathers

Folding feathered fan of brown iridescent feathers

Folding fan, brown and dark blue iridescent feather blades. Tortoise shell sticks; brown silk connecting...

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Folding fan of black Chantilly lace leaf

Black Chantilly lace leaf, floral garland and foliate motifs; applied paillettes. Ivory monture. On guards,...

Fixed feather fan of gray ostrich

Fixed feather fan of gray ostrich

Grey curled ostrich plume. Tortoise shell stick handle with large ring at end.

Folding fan with Empire-style painted scene of Cupid and Psyche

Folding fan with Empire-style painted scene of Cupid and Psyche

Hand-painted skin leaf. Recto: depicting Psyche borne aloft by Cupid and two putti over a landscape....

Folding fan of paper leaf

Folding fan of paper leaf

Paper leaf with hand-colored stipple engraving depicting neo-classically attired nymphs romping with...

Brisé ivory fan, applied gilt lacquer landscape

Brisé ivory fan, applied gilt lacquer landscape

Brisé ivory fan, Japanese gilt lacquer stylized landscapes applied to blades and guards; threaded by...

Folding fan with painted royal family group

Folding fan with painted royal family group

Paper leaf, painted portrayal of 17th-century British royal family with six children on recto. Mother...

Folding fan of hand-painted paper leaf

Folding fan of hand-painted paper leaf

Paper leaf, hand-painted scene of figures in Elizabethan dress walking in woods. Carved mother of pearl...

Folding feathered fan of clipped ostrich feathers

Folding feathered fan of clipped ostrich feathers

Folding fan, clipped, shaped white ostrich feather blades. Tortoise shell monture.

Folding feathered fan of gray and white ostrich chick feathers

Folding feathered fan of gray and white ostrich chick feathers

Folding fan, grey and white ostrich chick feather blades, clipped and applied feather tips. Amber-colored...

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