by Jim McKay




The earliest recorded use of a fan dates from 3200 BC and it is only relatively recently that they have become unfashionable in the West, although on a hot day it remains instinctive to reach for a piece of paper and wave it rapidly to produce a cooling breeze. For thousands of years, however, fans were an indispensable item around the world, and over the centuries evolved into an array of forms, with the design and ornamentation becoming ever more intricate and delicate. And they weren't just used for cooling. Fans have been used by dancers, in religious ceremonies, and even evolved their own language so that well-groomed ladies could communicate silently with each other or with any gentleman who had taken the trouble to observe this secret art. As it was not considered polite to openly talk about emotional matters this language revolved, unsurprisingly, around courtship and a book published in 1910 lists over 50 signals that were commonly conveyed with the fans, ranging from "I hate you" to "I long always to be near you."

Beautifully illustrated with photographs of the most ostentatious antique fans from both the East and the West, Fans, provides a history of the fans from ancient times to their decline around the turn of the century. It also discusses the artful way in which they were used to convey messages as well as offering advice on establishing a fan collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785812173
Publisher: Book Sales, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 11.54(w) x 11.58(h) x 0.68(d)

Table of Contents

1The Beginnings of Fans6
2Asian Fans16
3Western Styles40
4The Language of Fans110
5Collecting Fans134
Recommended Reading144

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews