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Brisé Fan

Brisé Fan

Inv. Nr: CE2 / 00531

This type of fan is known as a ‘brisé’ or ‘baraja’ fan as it has no fan leaf and the ribs are held together by a ribbon at the top. The ribs employ a trapezoid form, with the top end crafted into serrated peaks, a characteristic of brisé fans of the era. It is abundantly decorated, covering the whole surface area and displaying fretwork and gilding of plants and flowers. On the upper part, the ribbon holding the ribs together is lined with paper displaying floral motifs in orange and green tones, in keeping with the first and last ribs either side. These ribs are similar to the rest, with painted floral motifs in orange tones. The rosette design and the ring are made of metal. The back is smooth.

In the early decades of the 19th century, fans were small in size in order to be kept in a small handbag known as a ‘reticule’. Towards 1820 however, the size gradually increased and ladies returned to using brisé fans made of ivory, shell or lacquered. They were imported from the East, via the port of Guangzhou, formerly Canton, with a small shipment of vegetables and animals. This model is dated around 1820.

Piece not on display.

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