A Cool Breeze - Part 1

Fans from the National Museum of Costume's collection

By National Museum of Costume in Portugal

Romantic fan (1850) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The Museu Nacional do Traje (National Museum of Costume) has had, from the time it was created, among its vast patrimony, an important collection of fans. 

The initial nucleus of this collection comes from the collection of civilian clothes of the Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum), which was transferred to this Museum in 1984.

Golden fan (1804/1815) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The first items acquired by the National Coach Museum in 1922 were two Empire fans. 

Fan (front) (1864) by Paul GavarniNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The donations and purchases by the Coah Museum succeeded, with particular emphasis given to the purchase of fans that belonged to Queen D. Amélia, founder of the Coach Museum. 

Fan (back) (1864) by Paul GavarniNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

We can admire today in the Museum of Costume a beautiful fan made of ivory and vellum, painted in 1864 by the famous French illustrator, draftsman and water colourist  Paul Gavarni (1804-1866), for the marriage of Isabel de Monpensier (1848-1919), Duchess Isabel de Orleães and mother of D. Amélia.

Light blue Fan (1881) by J. B. BonnelyNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Another particularly interesting purchase is the commemorative fan
celebrating the II Centenary of the Death of Calderón de la Barca
(1600-1681), an item that was probably a gift to Queen D. Amélia on that occasion.

Fan (1920/1930) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

From the time of its creation, in 1976, the National Museum of Costume has integrated other fans into its collection. Today the collection has more than 300 fans and is, therefore, one of the most important in Portugal. 

Parchment Fan (1750/1800) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Although it includes some examples dating from the 18th century, this collection is particularly representative of fans dating from the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. 

Fan (1880) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

During this period there was a great diversity of fans – as a consequence of their generalised use – and due to the discovery and application of new materials and techniques for their manufacture, the variety of themes represented and the new way fans were employed, originating new functions.

Brisé fan (1775/1800) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

As for their structure, the collection contains the types of fans more currently used in Europe during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries: the folding fans, the brisé
 

Bobbin lace fan (1890/1900) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

… lace fans … 

Feather fan (1910) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

… as well as the more exuberant feather fans.

Fan with angels (front) (1852) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The origin of this collection is mainly foreign, with a clear predominance of French fans, which shows the historic preference of the Portuguese for foreign fashions, in particular those from France.

Fan with monogram and a crown (back) (1852) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

This fan is signed by Félix Alexandre and André-Charles Voillemot. 

It might have been made for Mrs. Eudoxie Bibikof, who later married Serge Goriainov, according to the donor’s note.

Fan (front) (1852) by Signed AlexandreNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Also signed by Félix Alexandre, this fan was purchased in Paris by the Count Apraxine and gifted to his niece Sophie Alexandrovna Bibikov. 

It was given to Beatriz Cinatti Batalha Reis c.1917 who later donated it to the Coach Museum, in August 1974, along with the previous one.

Black and golden fan (1890/1930) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The fans from the East were particularly appreciated in Europe as exotic and reasonably priced items compared with European fans. 

 The presence of oriental fans in the collection, Chinese and Japanese, is significant.
 

Paper fan (1820/1830) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The fact that they are numerous shows the important role that Portugal played in importing these by the thousands through Macao, where they were also manufactured.

Floral fan with mother-of-pearl sticks (1880/1890) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The nucleus of oriental fans is constituted by items dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries which, in some cases, were clearly commissioned and fashioned according to western taste.

Fan (front) (1850/1900) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Some have an exquisitely delicate and complex workmanship in their structure, with sticks made of ivory or tortoise shell.

One Thousand Faces fan (front) (1850/1860) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

In the museum’s collection the so-called Mandarin Fans are well represented, also known as Canton Fans or One-Thousand-Faces Fans, due to their origin and decorations.

They were almost exclusively manufactured for export to the European market through the port of Canton (now Guangzhou).

One Thousand Faces fan (1850/1870) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

In Mandarin fans a polychrome double-sided paper leaf is applied in the monture, painted with strong colours and decorated with Chinese figures in a landscape or architecture, pavilions, palace and court interiors, symbols or flowers.  

Cabriolet fan (back) (1860) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

The scenes are often based on scenes from life at court, popular stories and events, ancient literature and historical events. 

The figures have applied faces made of ivory, thus the "one-thousand-faces" name, and the clothes are either painted in detail or made of applied colourful silk clothes. The scene is usually framed on the edge with symbolic and flower motifs.

Romantic fan (front) (1850/1860) by Unknown authorNational Museum of Costume in Portugal

Uma Ligeira Brisa - 2ª Parte

Clique em: https://artsandculture.google.com/story/AQWB4e4SUm9aTw 

Credits: Story

Texts: Paulo Campos Pinto
           Xénia Flores Ribeiro
Translation: Xénia Flores Ribeiro
Online exhibition: Cândida Caldeira
Photos: ©DGPC/ADFAll rights belong to the National Museum of Costume in Portugal unless otherwise stated. For more click here.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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