Saturday, November 16, 2013

Unfolding Pictures: The Assam Peacock Fan, 19th C.

Hand Fan
Assam, India
Nineteenth Century
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This feathered fan was made in Assam, India, and is constructed of peacock feathers. The work of an unknown Nineteenth Century fan maker, the piece was made for export to Europe where, at the time, feather fans were quite fashionable.

Mounted on a wooden handle, the fan takes a circular form. Edged in natural peacock feathers, the center of the fan has been cleverly patterned with peacock feathers which have been dyed and bleached. These red, white and black feathers were cut and shaped in order to create this intricate, and wholly Indian pattern. Bits of shell, metallic thread and ribbon add dimension and shine which would have been quite enchanting reflected in candlelight.

No comments: