The fans shown above come from private collections. The owners hold the copyright to their images which should not be reproduced for any purpose without permission from FCI (contact@fancircleinternational.org)

Coronavirus Pandemic - A Message from FCI May 2020

Dear Fan friends,

We are sure that you are all as disappointed as we are that our AGM in Bournemouth in May has of course had to be cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Our committee are currently working on ways that we can all be in touch and thinking about fans during this difficult time, and members will be receiving E-mail details very soon.

Meanwhile, we hope you are all keeping well and safe,

All best wishes,

Lorraine & Valerie

Lorraine Taylor Kent       Valerie Wilson
President                         FCI Chairman

We are showing some fans above which illustrate the medical situation during the First World War.

Fan 1 shows two beds in a military hospital room where nurses crowd around the wounded in metal beds. Four of their less seriously ill or recovering comrades came to visit them. In the foreground, a French soldier of the African army.

On the rear of Fan 1 is a Red Cross nurse.

Between August 2nd and December 31st 1914, the figures for hospitalisations of combatants in hospitals in unoccupied metropolitan France were staggering: 810,209 wounded and 323,410 sick, or nearly 1,134,000 admissions in five months, an average of 226,800 entries per month. During the same period of time, 310,700 soldiers died, an average of 62,140 deaths per month!

Fan 2 shows a portrait of another Red Cross nurse wearing a blue coat and the veil nurses wore at the time, a reminder of nuns’ historic commitment to the profession.

It is a copy made from a postcard edited by the publisher Lapina in 1915 in its series "European War of 1914-1915 - Patriotic Edition". Subtitled "Devotion", this card reproduces a painting signed by the French painter Henry Tenré (1854 - 1926) "known for his refined genre scenes and his elegant portraits in the style of the Belle Époque.

Finally, a bit of light relief in the form of a fan commemorating the retirement from medical practice of our current Chairman, and highlighting the benefits of fans to women of a certain age!

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Members come from all walks of life, enthusiasts who come together through their interest in fans. We welcome amateurs and professionals, fan makers and students, historians and antique dealers, lace makers and people simply interested in costume and accessories.

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The Fan Museum, Greenwich

Fan Circle founder member Hélène Alexander was able to realise the dream of a lifetime when, in 1991, the Fan Museum in Greenwich opened its doors. Opened after several years’ refurbishment of two partly derelict Georgian buildings near the centre of Greenwich, the Fan Museum houses a superb collection of fans and runs three special exhibitions annually, showcasing different aspects of the fan. A must for any London visitor, the Fan Museum and the FCI have always had a special relationship and the FCI organises visits there on a regular basis, as well as frequently holding its Christmas party in the Orangery.

Click this link to visit the Fan Museum website.


More news

Latest Projects

Very early 18th century ivory painted brisé fan with Chinoiserie, probably Dutch. Blackborne collection.

The Blackborne Collection: The FCI Project

2018 sees the dispersal by auction of approximately 450 fans that were inherited by a Yorkshire couple in 1965. When preparing the catalogue we realised that this was an unprecedented opportunity to capture these fans photographically for posterity. But it was also a chance to learn from these fans about rare biblical or mythological subjects so common on 18th century fans but so difficult for many of us to understand today.

So the concept is to take each one of these fans and work through the people and objects depicted and explain who they are and what the objects mean. This information will be available for research by FCI members and furthers our educational aims as a charity.

Watch this space for further information.