Brisé fan and case

  • Year: early 19th century
  • Location: France

Brisé fans are folding fans without a leaf, comprised of flat, overlapping sticks which broaden towards the outer edge where they are secured, one to another, by a ribbon or cord.

Folding fans were first introduced in Europe in the 16th century from Japan, where they had originated. France became the European center for fan design and production. French fans were so popular that they were smuggled into England during the 18th century. Folding fans reached the height of their popularity in Europe during the 18th century, a time known as the golden age of the folding fan.

This French brisé fan features pierced horn sticks painted with forget-me-nots, laced with a pale silk ribbon. The fan case (pictured here) has removable lid.

Brisé fan and case is available in the public domain via Creative Commons No Copyright .

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection | Source: Smithsonian Institution

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