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Fans of the 19th and 20th centuries

Fans of the 19th and 20th centuries


Means of acquisition: donation

Source: José Luis Montoto


The Museu de Menorca holds a number of artefacts in its deposit belonging to different individuals, with the main increase in numbers of these artefacts taking place in 1998, with the inauguration of the Museu. In 2015 M. Juana Ferrer’s son, José Luis Montoto, donated a collection of 5 fans, that had belonged to his mother, to the museum. 


The five fans are fundamental to the museum, as our center possesses a good collection and this donation increases the collection and makes it more complete, putting the Museu de Menorca’s collection up, to 25 fans. These are from both the 19th and 20th centuries with the oldest one dating back to the Elizabethan era. There is only one that is not very well preserved however, the model is interesting because its leaf is made of tulle and it represents the first of this type amongst the museum’s collection. 



From the 18th century onwards, the fan was an important accessory in women’s clothing. One can see in the images of paintings how it is an essential ornament to the attire; and it helped alleviate women from the heat. The women would either attach it or have it hanging on a chain from their waists. These pieces can be observed in the pictorial works of art from the 18th and 19th centuries in Menorca. 



The typology of these pieces depends on the period they are from. In the 18th century in Spain, with the arrival of the Bourbons, the French fan was introduced to the Spanish Court; however, importation of the oriental type fan continued to be predominant. From 1820 the production of fans in Valencia becomes important and during the Elizabethan era it takes on an increased significance with the ribs being made larger, pierced and of various different materials and the leaf being made of painted paper, lithographed, imprinted or of embroidered material. At the end of the 19th century, the most modern and precedent to the current fan appears, with a smooth wooden, ivory or tortoiseshell rods and a leafs made of cloth or paper with scenes from the period, as well as cloths made of chiffon, silk decorated with flowers. 

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