fig. 7
2 Jenny-Lind publicity fans
[click on the photo for more info]

 

fig. 9
Celluloid sticks imitating tortoise-shell with pink dyed ostrich feathers
[click on the photo for more info]

 

fig. 11
"Fantasy" fan with rosewood sticks
[click on the photo for more info]

 


Continued: FEATHER-FANS (2)

Until mid-19th century, feathers did not play a role in fans. In the first half of the 19th century, some painted goose feather fans were imported from China (see David's web site China 1825/30), but this had no influence on the European fan production.

Around 1850, so-called Jenny-Lind-Fans (named after the Swedish opera singer who used mainly this type of fans) appeared. These are brisé-fans, with on each stick an oval piece of cloth or paper, vaguely reminding of a feather (see David's Pliant-Fan as example). The top of each stick was often decorated with marabou down. Later, early 20th century, a simplified form was used for publicity fans (fig.7).

Second feather fan period in Europe: Belle Epoque to the 1920ies

For the first time, a feather fan production in Europe was mentioned by the Parisian fan maker Duvelleroy in a letter to the jury of the world exhibition in 1855, naming a certain M. Dourlet as producer of fans using feathers (see "L'éventail miroir de la Belle Epoque", Library No. 65). But mass production started only after South Africans managed to breed ostriches in farms. Worldwide, one used the moulting of birds to "harvest" exotic feathers. Before, feather fans were rather hunting trophies, depending on the luck of the hunter. Around 1875/80 feather fans were regularly produced. Centres of feather fan production were Paris, closely followed by Vienna, Austria, and Berlin, Germany. However, feather fans were no more rigid fans as in Renaissance time but almost exclusively folding fans. "Normal" feather fans have one feather on each stick, mainly ostrich feathers of different quality. Big pure white feathers as well as deep black ones stem from the tail of the male bird, whereas the female feathers are grey-white and called "femina" (see fig. 8). During the 20ies, they were coloured matching the fashion taste (a screaming orange was called "tango"). See also fig. 9 of a fan with pink dyed feathers. Another type of feather fan were the so-called fantasy fans: on a carrier feather (mostly goose; in more exclusive model eagle for its solid nature) many small feathers of iridescent colours were applied (see fig. 11 and 12 and page 4) . The climax was reached with fantasy fans displaying taxidermised birds' heads fixed on one guard, or the unique buzzard fan of the Salzburg Carolino Augusteum museum, a rigid fan imitating a real buzzard. A mechanism in the handle opened and closed the wings (see library No. 79).

The fan sticks influenced considerably quality and price of a feather fan. An asymmetric eagle fan (similar to fig. 10) figured in the 1908 catalogue of Duvelleroy at a price of 250 francs for horn sticks, 300 francs for mother of pearl, 400 francs for tortoise-shell and 600 francs for blond tortoise-shell (see "L'éventail miroir de la Belle Epoque", Biblio No. 65). Soon after its invention, the new celluloid was used for fan sticks (see fig. 13) Other examples figure among my celluloid fans: a black ostrich feather fan, and fantasy fans: figs. 7,11,12 and fig. 24.



fig. 13
3 small celluloid feather fans with curled ostrich feathers
[click on the photo for more info]

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fig. 8
Wonderful "Femina" feather fan with mother of pearl sticks
[click on the photo for more info]

 

fig. 10
Fan card like an eagle fan, exhibition "Mode von Kopf bis Fuss", 2001, Vienna, Museum Hetzendorf




fig. 12
"Morning Star"
Fantasy fan, blond tortoise-shell (?), applied on eagle feathers
[click on the photo for more info]

 

     

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