Time was when hand fans were in vogue. A woman who waved a fan seemed to look more graceful and elegant. Those who crafted this fashion accessory made sure that it was as beautiful as the woman’s dress. The following are some fans from the 18th and 19th centuries which depict maritime scenes. Those who think that men should take no interest in the subject should remember that Japan’s samurai used folding fans both as a fashion accessory and as a weapon. 

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

— Coco Chanel, French fashion designer

Fan, 1781 (Dutch)
Unidentified artist
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fan, 1715–25 (Dutch)
Artist: Carl Gustav Klingstedt (Swedish, 1657–1734)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fan, 1750–60 (possibly Dutch)
Unidentified artist
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fan, early 19th century (Italian)
Unidentified artist
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fan, late 18th century (Italian)
Unidentified artist
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pleated Cabriolet Fan, 1760–80 (French)
Unidentified artist
Courtesy of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Fan, c. 1860–75 (French)
Artist: Edouard Moreau (French, 1825–1878)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

~ Barista Uno

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