The Fan: Flirtation, Ritual and Mystery as Old as Time
inAugust 22, 2011 - 1:09pm
The fan itself may not be as old as time, but flirtation certainly must be. Was Adam enticed to eat the apple when Eve's flirtatious eyes fluttered above a palm frond, gently wafting a cooling breeze in the sunlit Garden of Eden?
Practical, ceremonial or decorative - fans were in use more than 3000 years ago and the form has changed, but surprisingly little, over those thousands of years. Fans of a simple design were discovered in 1922 inside Tutankhamen's tomb. A fixed palmate screen fan, mounted on a long handle and wafted by Cleopatra's slaves, an ancient Chinese hand fan made of beaten gold, an extravagant peacock feather fan from Asia 500 years BC - all would be instantly recognizable as symbols of luxury and rank but with a practical purpose too.
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