Folding Fans with Bamboo Ribs and Gold/Silver-powered-sprinkled Panels

Yangzhou Museum

Yangzhou Museum

Excavated from the Ming-dynasty tomb of Peng Shujie to the south of the former site of Chanzhi Temple in Chengbei town of Yangzhou city in 1956, these two folding fans both have bamboo ribs and paper panels. The gold folding fan has 24 bamboo ribs (including guards) and a 46 cm-high panel covered with sprinkled gold powder that creates a scene looking like the sky lit by the sunset glow, while the silver fan features 29 bamboo ribs (including guards), the parts uncovered by the panel are covered by gold powder, and a 44 cm-high panel showing natural ice cracks with sprinkled silver powder, constituting a fantastic view of floating clouds against the sunset glow.
According to scholars, folding fans were not invented by the Chinese but introduced from Japan or Korea during the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD). It is believed that folding fans with sprinkled gold or silver powder were used as an indication of noble or wealthy identities. Given the fact the folding fans unearthed from Ming-dynasty tombs are extremely rare, these two items would serve as highly precious physical evidence to the study on folding fans in China.

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  • Title: Folding Fans with Bamboo Ribs and Gold/Silver-powered-sprinkled Panels
  • Provenance: Yangzhou Museum
  • Physical Size: Above: length: 30.3 cm; below: length: 29.6 cm
  • Dynasty: Ming (1368 - 1644)


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