Two parts of the Blackborne Collection of Antique Fans were offered in auction by Tennants in Yorkshire in April and July 2018.
FCI Members were treated to a view of some of these fans in 1997 and again in 2010, when AGMs were held in Yorkshire. However, in total there are actually more than 450 fans, plus the 2 volumes of “Fans in the collection of Lady Charlotte Schreiber”, and a unique copy of Wooliscroft Rhead, being the author’s own proof copy which includes original letters written by the Society Set who lent their fans for inclusion in the book. So, letter headings such as Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace are there, plus addresses relating to several titled Ladies.
As for the fans, the collection has been divided into two parts, as there are over 200 18th century fans, from Pastoral to Biblical to Mythological, several with very rare decorative montures, some very attractive Regency fans showing the fashion of the period, lots of small brisĂ©s, these probably accounting for another 100 lots, plus oriental fans. One unique fan, believed to have belonged to HRH the Duke of Connaught is painted on satin and signed and dated by the actress Sarah Bernhardt who is said to have had a relationship with the Duke’s brother, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, and indeed there are several fans from the same source in the sale.