About Us

The Fan Circle International is now over 40 years old!

The Fan Circle International is a collectors’ club which was formed in 1975 to promote interest in, and understanding of, all aspects of the many varieties of fan. Though formed and with operations based in the UK, we are truly International! Members come from more than 20 countries (mainly Europe and the United States) with a small participation from Asia. We welcome all ages and interests, whether you actually own a fan or not.

Join us and participate in our Annual General Meeting, with the opportunity to meet fellow “fan-atic” members, make new friends, discuss fans, and extend your knowledge. The AGM spreads over a long weekend, and the venue changes each year. Generally held within the UK, recent years have seen the AGM held in Holland, Germany and France. Arranged by members for members, and not to be missed!

Enjoy our full colour Bulletin twice a year – and contribute to it! Articles range from short descriptions of “My First Fan” or “Cheap and Cheerful” through to carefully researched articles.

Our members come from all walks of life, but all are enthusiasts who come together through their interest in fans. Collectors range from those with a few they picked up for decoration, to more serious collectors but the fan is a great leveller if you attend our meetings. We welcome amateurs and professionals, fan makers and students, historians and antique dealers, lace makers and people simply interested in costume and accessories.


The Fan Circle benefits from the Patronage of:

The Master of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers
Mrs Nancy Armstrong FRSA
Mrs HĂ©lĂšne Alexander MBE FRSA
Prof John Salter (previous Master of Worshipful Company of Fan Makers)
Mrs Maryse Volet (Switzerland)

The Fan

It is hard not to find mention of fans as we take a look back into the past.

Used for cooling the body, or for fanning fires, this useful object developed into a much-prized fashion accessory which is seeing a resurgence today.

Often the subject of fabulous workmanship (think Fabergé), and meticulous craft: painted; bejewelled; intricately woven, even decorated with straw. Created from fine lace or adorned with embroidery. Carved from shell or wood, fashioned from metal, lacquered, finished off with cloisonné. Imagine the techniques available to the craftsmen of the world, and see them used on fans.

Be charmed by the ingenuity of advertising found on printed fans. Designs produced by contemporary illustrators advertised perfumes, transport, fashion: the scope was endless.

Study wartime propaganda or political cartoons. Make discoveries when you travel and share these with members.