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French School, 19th century

Silk cockade fan c. 1880

Stiffened silk; paper board tube covered in blue silk and edged with brass ferrules | 14.0 cm (guardstick) | RCIN 25166

  • Cockade fans were made in a number of different forms: folding, retracting (in the present case) or rigid (similar to a handscreen). Although London fan-makers took out patents for cockade fans during the nineteenth century, most of the surviving fans of that date are Parisian products. A very wide variety of these fans were made in Paris, where they were generally described as ‘Chinois’. Seven different designs for such fans were registered in Paris within a single year, 1868. Of these, the design of this fan is closest to one registered by Fritz Meyer jeune. The fashion for cockade fans continued until the end of the century. Occasionally they were presented to ladies at dinner, when the gentlemen were given cigars in similar tubes. When the first Grand Magasin opened in Paris c.1890, canes with similar fans at the top were presented as souvenirs.

    This fan belonged to Princess Louise (1848-1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In 1871 she married the Marquess of Lorne (later 9th Duke of Argyll). Both the Princess and her husband were closely involved in the artistic life of England, Scotland and Canada, where they lived during the Marquess’s appointment as Governor-General. Princess Louise was an accomplished artist, among whose surviving works is a fan leaf painted in February 1871, the subject of which is a skating scene. The first Competitive Exhibition organised by the Fan Makers Company was held in 1878 under the patronage of the Princess, who lent seven fans to the fourth Competitive Exhibition in 1897. In addition to this fan and its pair, the Royal Collection contains two further fans from Princess Louise’s collection.

    Text adapted from Unfolding Pictures: Fans in the Royal Collection 2005

    Originally belonged to Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll

  • Medium and techniques

    Stiffened silk; paper board tube covered in blue silk and edged with brass ferrules


    14.0 cm (guardstick)

    34.0 cm (whole object)

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