Fans: A Link Between Cultures

Exhibition Introduction

Advertising Fans

Tortoiseshell and Sandalwood

Fashion, Sophistication, and Myth

European Influence

Fan Glossary

Language of the Fans

Photograph List

Exhibition Credits

00.180.27 detail
Guardstick mirror of a paper folding fan

Hand Fan Glossary of Terms

Fan Components

Sticks: The sticks provide the main skeletal framework of folding and brise’ fans.

Guard Sticks: The outer sticks provide a strong skeleton for a fan and protect the inner sticks. These sticks, which are usually elaborately decorated, are visible when the fan is closed. Mirrors may be attached to add a cosmetic attribute to the fan.

Ribs: The ribs refer to the narrow upper part of the sticks to which a leaf is attached. They are also called slips.

Leaf: The leaf is the main body of a fan, which may be made from a variety of materials such as paper, fabric, lace or skin. It can be either single or double sided and is attached to the ribs with glue, thread and other methods. This is also called the mount.

Rivet: The rivet is a double headed pin that runs through the end of the sticks and guards in both folding and brise’ fans to anchor the sticks. Similar to guard sticks, rivets are often embellished with jewels and the like.

Loop: The loop is a small half round piece of metal, fabric, or other material that is attached to the rivet.

Fan Types

© 2009 The New Bedford Whaling Museum, All Rights Reserved
18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740