Aaaand here we are again! Some more information about hand fans are here for you.
The first purpose of a hand fan was to serve as a cooling mechanism and insects rejecter but later it developed into the social instrument and as well as fashion accessory.
In 18th and 19th century houses were heated by open fires so the ladies had to protect their face from the glare and heat of the fire and to avoid getting 'coup rose' and most probably to keep the heat from spoiling the carefully applied make-up which in those days was often wax-based.
The rigid fan, in Japan called uchiwa, is used in dance ceremonies and as an accessory of the sumo matches referees but also in the kitchen for fanning the rice to cool it in preparation of sushi.
Many times hand fan was used as and advertisement platform. In 18th century so called ‘speaking fan’ was developed in a French fan maker house Duvelleroy. Movements of the hand fan corresponded to the letters of the alphabet or had some special meaning like ‘Carrying the fan in the right hand in front of her face: Follow me.’ or ‘Touching the handle of the fan to the lips: Kiss me.’. Duvelleroy is one of the rare hand fan manufacturers who survived the World War II and exists even today.
There are several types of hand fans and they could be made of different materials. Rigid fan is stiff in a shape of a leaf, rectangle or oval and folding fan is folded in different ways like pleated, brisé (only sticks) and cockade (opens in complete circle).
Sticks and handles could be made of gold, mother-of-pearl, horn, ivory, wood, tortoise shell with extraordinary decorations and mounts were made of velum, paper, feathers, butterfly wings, silk, gold and sequins with also beautiful images or sketches. Different themes were involved like maps of an area, battles, coronation days, historical, biblical or pastoral images, or even puzzles and riddles so they could prevent boredom and entertain the crowd.
Hand fans are used to entertain the crowd even today in dances like Korean Buchaechum, Spanish Flamenco or exotic Burlesque dance. Nevertheless, today it could be found everywhere and used as everything, as an entertainment or kitchen prop, as a souvenir, as a fashion accessory, or in my house.
Preparing this theme I can say I travelled and returned to all the places I’ve been from where I brought the hand fan as a souvenir. Using it I really feel like a lady and I think it gives a sort of a mystery and secrecy in my appearance. That is what I like to present. What about you?
If you would like to be mysterious and own one hand fan too you can get in a giveaway draw by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org with names and emails of at least 2 of your friends who would like to sign for GMG newsletter and maybe it could become yours! Good luck!