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Fan & box

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made in Canton, China

Postcard of Fan & box.
000-180-000-054-C
© National Museums Scotland

Fan & box

This paper and tortoiseshell fan and black lacquer box were made in Canton in China around 1850.

The fan is painted with court scenes and inset with ivory faces. It has carved tortoiseshell guards and fretted sticks. The lacquer box is painted in gold and has a hinged lid.

The Portuguese traders of the 15th century were probably the first to bring oriental fans to Europe in any great numbers. By the end of the 17th century, vast quantities of Chinese fans were reaching Europe. Fans ranged in size according to fashion. From 1800-30 they had a radius of 8 inches. During the Victorian period this rose to more than 20 inches. After about 1900, the use of the fan in Europe began to die out.


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Online ID: 000-180-000-054-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  
Date: Around 1850
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