Decorative fans all a-flutter

Not just a pretty accessory, for hundreds of years fans like these were also used by fashionable ladies and gentlemen to communicate love notes to dance partners and suitors.
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Folding fan with carved ivory guards and sticks, and paper mount painted with figures with applied ivory faces and some applied woven silk garments. China, 19th century.

Folding fan with carved ivory guards and sticks, and paper mount painted with figures with applied ivory faces and some applied woven silk garments.

Folding fan with carved and pierced ivory sticks and guards, painted and set with gold piqué, and single fine skin leaf mounted a l'Anglaise, obverse painted in gouache with a king presenting a gold cup to a young couple in a golden chariot, reverse depicting a seated woman holding a man's portrait, part of the Richmond Inglis Cochrane Collection: probably German, c. 1730

Folding fan with carved and pierced ivory sticks and guards, painted and set with gold piqué, and single fine skin leaf mounted a l'Anglaise, obverse painted in gouache with a king presenting a gold cup to a young couple in a golden chariot, reverse depicting a seated woman holding a man's portrait, part of the Richmond Inglis Cochrane Collection: probably German, c. 1730

Folding fan with sticks and guards of carved and pierced mother-of-pearl, and leaf of white Brussels lace with a central motif and two side motifs in needle lace set in bobbin lace surround, the design floral, wedding fan of the donor's mother, part of the Richmond Inglis Collection: 1891

Fan: folding with sticks and guards of carved and pierced mother-of-pearl, Brussels lace with central motif and two side motifs in needle lace set in bobbin lace surround. "Wedding fan of the donor's mother, part of the Richmond Inglis Collection.

Folding fan with carved ivory guards and sticks, and paper mount painted with figures with applied ivory faces and some applied woven silk garments. China, 19th century.

Folding fan with carved ivory guards and sticks, and paper mount painted with figures with applied ivory faces and some applied woven silk garments.

Mandarin or one hundred faces fan, with leaf painted front and back in dark bright colours with a Chinese scene, and with carved wood sticks and guards: Chinese, probably Canton, mid 19th century

Mandarin or one hundred faces fan, with leaf painted front and back in dark bright colours with a Chinese scene, and with carved wood sticks and guards: Chinese, probably Canton, mid century

Folding fan with pierced, carved and gilt ivory sticks and guards, and double leaf of chicken skin with a pen and ink drawing on obverse of a man and woman driving cattle, with goats resting to left and a man and woman with baby and dog to right, part of the Richmond Inglis Cochrane Collection: c. 1770 - 1780

Folding fan with pierced, carved and gilt ivory sticks and guards, and double leaf of chicken skin with a pen and ink drawing on obverse of a man and woman driving cattle, with goats resting to left and a man and woman with baby and dog to right, c.

Folding fan with sticks and guards of carved and pierced ivory, and single paper leaf painted with cherubs playing in a woodland landscape around central figures of a reclining man in classical armour with head in lap of a woman, c. 1750-1780.

Folding fan with sticks and guards of carved and pierced ivory, and single paper leaf painted with cherubs playing in a woodland landscape around central figures of a reclining man in classical armour with head in lap of a woman, c.

Folding fan painted on one side with flowers by a stream and on the other with an ink landscape, with ivory sticks and ivory guards decorated with gold lacquer. Japan, 19th century.

Folding fan painted on one side with flowers by a stream and on the other with an ink landscape, with ivory sticks and ivory guards decorated with gold lacquer.

Folding fan with pierced, carved and gilt ivory sticks and guards, and double leaf of chicken skin with a pen and ink drawing on obverse of a man and woman driving cattle, with goats resting to left and a man and woman with baby and dog to right, c. 1770-1780.

Folding fan with pierced, carved and gilt ivory sticks and guards, and double leaf of chicken skin with a pen and ink drawing on obverse of a man and woman driving cattle, with goats resting to left and a man and woman with baby and dog to right, c.

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