This month, the Tamaqua library has a collection of traditional waving fans from China, France, and America on display in their front lobby courtesy of Rita Trucios of Summit Hill. Fans have been used since ancient times in China, Egypt, and Greece, recorded as early as the 4th century B.C. Since Queen Victoria of England, who received a fan on her Diamond Jubilee, the Lady members of the Royal Family to mark their marriage or special event with a fan. Fans were and are used to help cool, brush away insects, as weapons, to flirt, or to wear one's family arms. At court of Louis XIV fans became an essential accessory. Until the 19th century, men also had fans designed for them. Native American Indians used fans for both practical and ceremonial uses. Fan handles, slats and guard sticks were made of ivory, pearl, sandalwood, tortoiseshell, bone, and in modern times - plastic. Slats were covered with lace, silk, plumes, feathers, gold, embossed fabrics and jewels. Guard sticks were carved, covered with jewels, stones, etc. Hand painted fans mimicked life, and the designs included religious, classical, cartoon, landscape, historic and even political themes. The fans on display at the library are made of leather, sandalwood, mother of pearl, feathers, tortoiseshell and silk.
Fans from around the world on display at Tamaqua library
Monday, January 17, 2011