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Victorian Spangled Silk “Jenny Lind” Palmette Ladies’ Fan
Dating to the 1860s or 1870s, this spangled palmette or Jenny Lind-style fan features brown silk petals atop pierced sandalwood sticks.
The 14 petals, sticks, and guards are all spangled on front with dot-shaped silver metal sequins, with additional, foliate and flower-shaped sequins on the middle 5 petals. Visually echoing these representational sequins, the delicate, pierced designs on the sticks and guards are a combination of foliate and floral as well.
The petals are lightly attached by stitching through the backs, and the sticks are joined at the chased brass handle by two mother of pearl rivets. A brown silk tassel hangs from the handle.
This style of fan became all the rage in the late 1840s after one like it was carried by internationally renowned opera singer Jenny Lind, whose popularity was fanned to a blaze by promoter P.T.Barnum in the early 1850s. Over the next decade or so, Jenny Lind mania yielded a host of consumer products named for the “Swedish Nightingale”—everything from Jenny Lind ladies’ fans, boots and bonnets to Jenny Lind cigars and whiskeys for gentlemen and even, eventually, Jenny Lind bedsteads for the home.
The palmette fan maintained its popularity into the early 20th century; this example, a museum deaccession, has been given a circa date of 1870 on its paper inventory tag. (The inventory number is written on the reverse guard; photo #6).
Measuring 7” tall and with a spread of 12 ½” fully opened, the fan is in very good condition, with a “dot” sequin loose on the right-most petal and a dozen or so sequins missing from the numerous recessed “dots” in the sticks.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: brown, Size: 7"
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