Fans are like hats…once a necessary accessory to an outfit but nowadays a rare sight for fashion purposes. Fans are more likely to be found in display cases in museums and the stores of specialist societies than worn, or rather used, by an individual in the street.
As object d’art they are beautiful to behold and often exude a skill and craftsmanship we sometimes overlook owing to their redundant functionality today; perhaps making it harder for those interested in dress history to get excited about. Everybody is able to relate to clothing but accessories are so subjective. That said, it is hard to overlook the incredible detail of this 18th century fan from the Boudoir at Berrington Hall below…
The conservation record simply states that the fan is;
’18th century painted with classical scene. Belonged to Queen Hortense of Holland, the Comte de Flahaut’s mistress. She was the daughter of Josephine de la Pagerie, who later became Napoleon’s brother Louis, King of Holland.’
If anyone has a specialism in this area or is able to provide further information on the fan I would be most grateful.
The fan can currently be viewed in the beautiful surroundings of the Boudoir at Berrington Hall.