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Welcome to mm's fan pages!

The fan is an object of civilization and culture. Its fixed or folded surface hides secrets that need the cross-over knowledge of sciences as different as history, history of arts and culture, religion, archeology, sociology, public relations, industrial development and many more to release its significance.

Once necessary requisite to fan the fire, alleviate the heat, sift the chaff from the wheat or whisk away insects, it became an accessory of fashion. Status symbol like jewels, the fan had some additional advantages: you could hide behind, spy through tiny holes in the fan, swirl the fan coquettishly, or move the fan according to difficult fan language conventions, a kind of early telecommunication.

The "new" role of women after WW1, and the invention of air condition, led to the "twilight of the fans" in Europe. Spain alone remains an exception, where fans are still produced and used.
Ancient fans, however, become more and more objects of collectors' interests. Museums and websites show a broad and interesting panoply of fans (see "links" page).

mm's fan pages try to solve some of fans' mysteries (see "topics", "fan types" and "monographies"). The large bibliography as listed under "library" was a great help in this endeavour. Quotations in the text refer to this "library" where indicated.

This website will be steadily developed. Any ideas/ comments are welcome:mm

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Detail of a fan by G. Barbier

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"Peacocks' pleadings"

"Billet doux" fan postcards

"Commedia dell'Arte"

Eros & Amor: Love iconography on fans

NEW: Celluloid-Highlights

Feather fans

Spangled fans

"Semperit 1954"

A fan by G. Barbier

A "peasants' fan"

Excel-List Links-Page mm