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Pleated Fan (France)

This is a Pleated fan. It is dated 1869–80 and we acquired it in 1920. Its medium is silk bobbin lace leaf; carved and gilded mother-of-pearl sticks. It is a part of the Textiles department.

This beautiful and elaborate folding fan has a leaf of black silk bobbin-made lace of the type referred to as “Chantilly” lace, named for a center for silk lace production in France. Black lace became extremely popular for items of dress and fashion accessories in the 1840s. The vogue for black lace was fueled by the fashion tastes of Empress Eugénie, who supported the French lace industry. In this example, the figures of the finely drawn dancing putti on the leaf are shaded and modeled through different densities of the lace structure. The mother-of-pearl sticks also bear romantic motifs, with carved cupids complete with bows and arrows. This fan was custom-made for Fanny Bridgham, whose initials, “FB”, appear on the guard sticks on each end. In the year following her death, the fan was donated to the Cooper Hewitt by Mrs. John Innes Kane (Anne Schermerhorn Kane, 1957-1926) in memory of Mrs. Samuel W. Bridgham (Fanny Schermerhorn Bridgham, 1846-1919).

This object was donated by Mrs. John Innes Kane. It is credited Gift of Mrs. John Innes Kane.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 29.2 x 54 cm (11 1/2 x 21 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Pleated Fan (France); silk bobbin lace leaf; carved and gilded mother-of-pearl sticks; H x W: 29.2 x 54 cm (11 1/2 x 21 1/4 in.); Gift of Mrs. John Innes Kane; 1920-19-35

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Pleated Fan (France) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=14 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>