Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Decoupage fans!

There were many kinds of decoupage fans in the 1700s, and among those, paper fans with punched holes imitating lace are common on many specimens from the mid-to-late part of the century. Fans with leaves of real lace with paper vignettes and figures decoupéed onto the leaf have also been seen, if not so frequently. (There is a common misconception claiming that lace leaves did not exist at all in the 18th century, which they did - but they were very expensive and are extremely hard to find today. See Katmax page on Livejournal for more info on the subject.) And as the 1790s approached, there were also fans with cut out prints, or engravings - often depicting classical scenes or portraits, which were sometimes hand coloured. The prints were glued onto the leaves, which could be made of paper, silk or sheer organza, and "secured" by sewn-on sequins around the edges. Sometimes the prints were cut into strips and mounted on brisée fans entirely made of intricately carved ivory or wood.

A simple and very pretty original fan found (and, alas, bought by someone else) on Ebay some months ago.
I have lately discovered that the simple decoupage fans with single, cut out prints are relatively easy for me to make, as long as I use a copy of an original 18th century print, a paper leaf and a modest amount of sequins. Moreover, the designs often match the simple wooden sticks that I have to make do with most of the time, very well.
So if you're into the fashion of the late 80's or the 90's, it is now possible to get a lovely fan for a very reasonable price, both as ready-mades and on commission - the prices for my decoupage fans start at $154 (1100 SEK), while you have to pay at least twice as much for a hand painted fan! By the way, to keep the prices at that level, they are normally delivered without boxes.

A nice cream coloured fan made by yours truly a week ago or so. The print is an engraving after Angelica Kauffman called "Love and Beauty".

The red Marie Antoinette fan below is for sale in my new Etsy shop right now (alongside the Louis XVI fan on the Ready mades/Sales page and some Gothic jewellery and related stuff).