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crazygoatlady asked: How much do you know about historical accessories for women? I'm reading a book called the Stockholm Octavo, set in late 18th century Sweden and it extensively mentions fans. Do you know anything about fans as an accessory item?
The first question is very broad, since there are so many periods of dress and historical accessories for each differ. If you asked me about pockets in the 18th century or jewelry during the Regency period, I’m all over that. It’s hard to know everything about everything! But in general, fans have been in fashion since the middle ages - though in different forms, of course. In the eighteenth century, fans formed a smaller circle than the fans we typically think of today. They were beautifully adorned, with handles of carved shell, ivory, wood.. tiny scenes were painted onto the fans with extraordinary skill. Apparently, during this period fans were indispensable to all classes, rather than just a luxury item for the wealthy. There were folding fans and brisé fans, the latter of which is described in detail here (although that site also mentions lace fans, which is discounted by the first below source, and I’ve never seen a lace fan from this period!).