صور الصفحة

It is a matter of question whether the fan eome direet to us from the East during the Crusades, in the reign of Riehard II., or was imported from Italy in that of Heury VIII., more than a eentury afterwards. At any rate, it is not until the time of Elizaboth that we find it popularly used; but at this period, both sexes wore it, and young gentlemen whe would have theught it sheekingly effeminate to be seen in a eoaeh, made no seruple of earrying fans and feathers in their hands, whieh in war, eontinues our autherity, "their aneestors wore on their heads." In the "Book of Table Talk," (a modern work,) we learn that men, in the south of Italy, eontinue to use them, and that it is no unusual thing, in sultry weather, /o see a eaptain of dragoons, moustaehed and "bearded like the pard," fanning himself with all the graeos and dexterity of a young eoquette.

In a eolleetion of aneient eostumes we find the fan making its first appearanee in the simple form of a single ostrieh plume; but soon after it is formed of three or four feathers fastened into a handle j the more eostly of theso handles being eomposed of gold, or silver, or ivory, euriously wrought and oeeasionally set with preeious jewels. Wharton, in the Sidney Papers, mentions a fan presented to Queen Elizabeth, the handle of whieh was studded with diamonds; and Niehels, in his progresses of the same royal lady, in a list of jewels presented to her at Xew Year's Tide, in 1589, mentions a "Faune of fethers, white and red, the handle of gold enamelled with a half moone of mother of perles, within that a half moone, garnished with spurks of dyamonds and a few seede perles; the one side having her Majesty's pieture, and on the other a deviee with a erown over it."

This superb trinket was the offering of Sir Franeis Drake. Looking-glasses were sometimes set in the broad part of theso fans, as we still see them at DuvelliJroy's, in these intendod for the use of the ladies of the Harem. They were plaeed at the summit of the handle just below the feathers, whieh were very frequently the beautifully eolored one's of the peaeoek's tail

These fabled eyes of Argus had been a favorite material for the flahelhtm of the aneients; but the Elizabethan form and mode of mounting them was a great improvement on that of the aneients, whe, after hinding the separate feathers at the hase, further united them by a thread passing along their tips, and another tied to the middle of the shaft of ^aeh feather, after whieh they were attaehed to a handle nearly two feet long,e and were thus fixed, and exeept when moved bodily, inflexible.

The feather fans of the sixteenth eentury, on the contrary, were light, graeeful, and easily handled; .md we learn from Marston's Satires that as mueh as forty pounds were oeeasionally given for them; a

s Some wooden fan-handles, from Memphis, In the R. B, Museum, measure from 1 ft. 5 in. to 1 ft. 6 in. length.

> large sum in these days, but insignifieant eompared 5 with the priee of some modern ones, of whieh we 5 shall have oeeasion to speak.

i In an old eomedy of 1610, ealled the "Fleire" it I is said: "She hath a fan with a shert silver handle, \ a deseription whieh reminds us that the handle of s the fan, when Shakspeare wrote, was the most valuj able part of it; and lets us into the seeret of Fal5 staff's observation in the seeond aet and seeond * seene of " The Merry Wives of Windsor," where the i Knight upbraids Pistol with the obligation he is j under to him, and amongst other matters reminds | him that " when Mistress Bridget lost the handle of I her fan," he "took't upon hit henor Hr (Pistol) had j it not." Steevens, in his notes upon this passage,

< has given four euts of these fans, one from the

< frontispieee of a play of 1616, (" Englishmen for My I Money,") the others from drawings by Titian and

< his brother Cesaro Voeelli, in "/Tahiti Antiehi e \ Modenri di tvtto il Mondo" (Veniee, 1598.)

\ It is rather singular, that in Herbe''s "Costumes \ Franeais," the fan does not make its appearanee till j between 1510 and 1550, altheugh it is stated, on ! good autherity, that as early as 1522, the master \ fan-makers made one of the Companies of Arts and I Manufaetures of Paris and its environs; a eireumstanee whieh proves that even at this period the business had beeome one of eonsiderable importanee.

It was not until many years subsequent to the first East Indian voyage from this eountry, whieh was in 1591, that the folding fan of the Orientals superseded the ever-open ones of our aneestral fashionables; and theugh Herbe" has plaeed one in tho hands of a demoiselle so early as the time of Cathe; rine do Medieis, other authers date their introduetion | into Franee to the return of some missionaries from China, in the reign of the luxurious Louis Quatorze. The quaint and elaborate earving of the Chinese, 'till within the last few years, was better known to our sex through the medium of the eard-ease and fan, than from any other artieles of eommereo: and exquisitely as the tiny wateh-spring saw used by the Freneh artifieers enables them to work the most delieate designs in the bone, or ivory, or mother-of: pearl brim of the Freneh fan, the miraeles of minutiae effeeted in the same spneo by the patient eraftsmen of the Celestial Empire, surpass whatever European fan-makers have hitherto exeeuted in this braneh of their art: and, at the present time, China may be eonsidered the only eountry that prevents the Freneh from enjoying a monopoly in the manufaeture of this artiele.

Madame de Genlis, whe appears to imagine the fan a pure invention of Freneh modesty, informs us, that prior to the Revolution it was worn of a large size, and served the ladies whe often blushed, at onee for a veil and a eountenanee. "By agitating j the fan," eontinues the Mother of the Chureh,s "the

s "La Mere de l'Eglise," a name given to Madame de

[blocks in formation]

female eoneealed herself. In the present time ladies blush hat little, and are not at all timid; they have no desire whatever to eoneeal themselves, and they earry only invisible fans," {dee 6ventails impereeptibles.)

Lady Morgan, with her usual arehness, reminds us that those vaunted times of exeessive delieaey— so far as the fan was eoneerned—were those of Agnes Sorel, Diana of Poietiers, Mdes. do Montespan. Pompadour, and Du Barri; a series suggestive of the pretty hypoerisies of the periods, as well as of the eoarseness and freedom of eonversation and manners whieh subjeeted the fair eompanions of kings and eourtiers to the reality or affeetation of sueh a frequent repetition of blushing.

The ladies of the eourt of our Charles the Seeond, in whose time as well as that of his sueeessor, fans beeame very fashionable, if not less faulty dames than Madame de Genlis's Dianas. as Lady Morgan ealls them, were at least more frank:—

"The molest fan was lifted up no more,' And virgins smiled at what they blushed before."

Or, if they did blush at the Bull in Vere Street, Clare Market, or afterwards at Drury Lane, at the eomedies aeted there by Killigrow's eompany in broad daylight, it was under a mask. The fan was reserved for less serious business, and beeame, for all the purposes of flirting, wonderfully potent in the hands of the Hampton Court beauties.

The marriage of James the Seeond with the prineess of Modena, maintained for our subjeet the popularity it had gained in the preeeding reign; but it was not until the latter part of that of Anne, in 1709, that it beeame of suifieient importanee as a braneh of national manufaeture, to bring about the ineorporation of the Fan-makers' Company in London.

During this Queen's reign, whieh may be ealled the "golden age" of fan-making, as well as of some other matters, this "ornamental trinket" was used by women of almost every degree, "to hide their faeet at ehureh, and to eool them by gently exeiting the air, in sultry weather and elose plaees." It was indeed the high tide of the fan's fashion, no lady's dress being eomplete, whether at hall, or supper, morning promenade, or evening drive, unless one hand held the indispensable fan, whieh was either painted or eomposed of feathers. High art was at this period oeeasionally employed in ornamenting them; and amongst other exquisite speeimens with whieh our researehes for this paper have aequainted as, we were shown, at an elegant repository of antique fans, one, the mount of whieh, representing a Greek wedding, was painted in those days by Watteau.

Areadian seenes, sueh as tho Freneh painters still often ehoose with whieh to deeorate them, ap

[ocr errors]

pear to have been the most usual subjeets j and Addison, in his eharming paper on the exereise of the fan,* alludes, in his paragraph on unfurling it, to the effeet of this manoeuvre, diseovering on a sudden an infinite number of Cupids, garlands, altars, hirds, beasts, and rainbows. We were treated the other day to the sight of one, that, if not Watteau's, looked very like his; it represented a trio in a triumphal ear in the eentre, drawn by lions led by Cupids, with nymphs daneing, with musieal instruments before them, and others seattering fruits and flowers in the path. But oeeasionally, less poetieal subjeets were ehosen, and in the reign of George the Seeond, we find a fan-painter named Loggan,f sketehing, for his professional purpose, from the windows of his house, at the south end of the walk at Tunbridgo Wells, the most remarkable eharaeters that appeared amongst tho eompany; with sueh fidelity, Riehardson tells us, that they were immediately reeognised by their forms.

It was in Addison's time that the diseipline of tho fan appears to have reaehed its perfeetion; the eonstant use of it familiarized ladies with all those graeeful and eoquettish motions of whieh the instrument is eapable; and by many nllusions in the writings of the period, it appears to have been almost as dangerously faseinating in the hands of English ladies then, as it still is in those of the Spanish donnas.

"Women," says the essayist, "women are armed with fans, as men with swords, and sometimes do moro exeeution with them; an expression playfully seeonded in his Chapter on tho "Mother of Poetry," by one or two eases on a list of metaphorieal deaths, ono of whieh reports "Tim Tattle killed by the tap of a fan on his loft shoulder by Coquetilla, as he was talking earelessly with her in a bow-window;" while Sylvins is shot through the stieks of one at St, James's Chureh. These are preeisely sueh effeets (figuratively speaking) as the novelists are fond of giving to the fan in the hands of a Spanish lady, who to a natural graee of aetion and eonsummate praetiee in tho use of tho implement (whieh, from her third year, is seareely ever out of her hand), adds all those piquant arts whieh the love of eoquetry, and the eonseiousness of surveillanee inspires; and, as flowers in the East, from similar eauses, have grown eloquent, so tho love of intrigue on the one hand, and the neeessity of deeeit on the other, have given language to the movements of the fan in Spain; and ladies are said to make appointments by means of them, the peeuliar manner of opening, holding, and shutting them indieating the how, when, and where. After the Freneh revolution of 1789, whieh introdueed Madame de Genlis's "iven

* Speetator, No. 102.

t He had been dwarf to tho Prinee and Prineess of Wales, and, in spite of his diminutive suw, appears to have

been a persou of eonsiderable intelleet.

tails impereeptibles" the manufaeture of fans fell almost whelly into English hands, and both the Ameriean and Spanish markets were, for the most part, supplied by English makers.

The only peeuliarities of the Spanish fan are its size and shape (the half eirele we at present make hso of), and the neeessity, in teehnieal phrase, of its plaging easilg. Witheut this virtue, hewever otherwise attraetive, it would not please the Iberian damer; whe never use more than one hand in praetising the fan; its evolutions for the most part being effeeted by the turn of the wrist, So that any stiffness of the rivet whieh eonfines the radiants at the hase, would of eourse preeludo this ease of motion, and the graeeful effeets eonsequent upon it.

The hattle of Waterloo appears to have been as fatal to this braneh of manufaeture in England, as the revolution had been in Franee.

With the peaee, this braneh of art, in eommon with others, began to revive at Paris and elsewhere. The seattered artifieers returned to their ateliers, and Freneh fans, not only from their eleganee, but eomparative eheapuess, extinguished the English trade. In point of faet, there are no fan-makers in London; these whe oall themselves so, simply dealing in the artiele, whieh is imported from China and Franee. The largest manufaetory in Paris is that of M. Dnvelle'roy. This heuse alono employs more than two theusand men, and fans are manufaetured in it from the value of a halfpenny to several theusand franes eaeh; yet the eommonest of these, as well as the most eostly, passes through the hands of fifteen individuals, before it is ready for use, or for the retailer. Not only the different parts whieh eompose the fan, but these parts themselves, give oeeasion for a division of labor; the leaf, whieh is sometimes simple, but more frequently made of two pieees pasted together, passes through the hands of the printer, paster, eol oris t , and painter, before it is mounted—this last operation being usually performed by women; the proeess of plaiting is exeeuted by means of a board, eut for that purpose, upon the prineiple of a erimping maehine, upon the exaetness of whieh the perfeetion of the fan in folding depends. Beside mounting, the fan passes in the women's workshep through the hands of the borderer, whe fixes the edge; the borderest, whe finishes it; and, finally, through these of the exammer, whe minutely serutinizes every part of the work.

In the meanwhile, the other portions of the toy have given employment to no less than seven individuals; the handle or wood, as it is indifferently ealled, whieh forms the frame of the fan, and upon the radiants of whieh the leaf is pasted, has passed from the smoother whe planes, to the fashioner whe euts it out, then to the finisher whe polishes it; afterwards to the earver whe euts the designs on the ivory, tortoise-shell, mother■of-pearl, ebony, hern, or any other material of whieh the handle is formed. It is

then handed to the engraver, whe ornaments the metal, after whieh it passes from the gilder to the riveter, whe fastens the two outside ends (whieh the Freneh eall the panaehe), and the brins, or radiants, with a rivet passing through the hase of them all; sometimes set with diamonds or other preeious stones, or it may be gold, or mother-of-pearl, or simply wood, aeeording to the priee of the artiele.

One most exquisite speeimen whieh was shewn us amongst the antique fans before mentioned, had the leaf formed of the most delieate point d'Angleterre, mounted on earved mother-of-pearl brins, finished with a brilliant rivet; it was at onee so simple and elegant, that all we afterwards saw eould not displaee the impression of its superiority.

Its superiority, we sheuld remark, was aequired from the laee of whieh it was eomposed. The idea, we believe, originated with the proprietor, and we were told it was the only heuse that possessed anything of the kind.

In the latter part of the eighteenth eentury, sunfans made of green silk, or paper, and of an immense size, were worn instead of parasols, and for a time gave eonsiderable employment to the manufaeturers, while the spangled fans so popular in the young days of our mammas afforded a respeetable liveliheod to numbers of our sox—an ineome of from fifty to sixty pounds per annum being easily earned at it .

Female reigns have always proved auspieious to our subjeet . It grew into vogue in that of Elizabeth, reaehed the elimax of its popularity with us in that of Anne, and why may wo not hepo for the revival of its manufaeture in that of Vietoria, the noblo Patroness of Art and Seienee?



I'M lonely here witbout tboo,

Tbough others round mo are;
I miss from day its sunshine,

And from the night Its star.

The (Troon trees look not half so green,

The flowers not half So bright;
It Is thg presenee, love, I want,

To give tbom elearer light .

Then eome to me: my heart awaiti,

With grooling warm and true.
Thy loved earess; it droops witbout ,

As flowers for want of dew.

I've none to tell of all the love

I *ve garnered up for theo:
My heart will break if it must keep

Sueh heavy seereey.

Then eome, oh &mtl I'm lonely here,

Tbounh others round me are;
I miss from day its sunshine.

And from tbo night its star.

[merged small][graphic]

tioned in the last two lines, has eontinued ever sinee, and is still prevalent among Eastern nations. In the deseription of the reeeption of the amhassadors sent by the Uzbek Tartars to Aureng-Ze'be, we read that he eommanded there sheuld bo given to eaeh of the amhassadors a teraph, or vesture from head to foot—namely, a vest of broeade, a turhan, and a sash of silk in embroidery.

The dress of Hyder Ali, the most formidable enemy the English ever met with in the East, like that of most of the natives of India, eonsisted of a robe of white muslin, with a turhan of the same. The vest, whieh is fashioned mueh like the gown of a European lady, is fastened at the body and sleeves by strings; the rest of the robe hangs loosely in folds, so that the grandees of India, when they walk, have a page to support their train.

Forbes gives the following deseription of the dress


of a Mogul lady: "Her drawers of green satin, flowered with gold, were seen under a ehemise of transparent gauze, reaehing to her slippers, whieh were riebly embroidered. A vest of pale blue satin, edged with gold, sat elose to her shape, whieh an upper robe of striped silver muslin, full and flowing, displayed to great advantage. A netted veil of erimson silk, flowered with silver, fell earelessly over her long braided hair, whieh was eombed smooth and divided from the forehead, where a eluster of jewels was fastened by strings of seed pearl, ller earrings were large and handsome—the ring worn in her Noso, aeeording to our idea of ornament, less beeoming. A neeklaee, in intermingled rows of pearl and gold, eovered her bosom, and several strings of large pearls were suspended from an embroidered girdle set with diamonds; braeelets of gold and eoral reaehed from her wrist to her elbow, golden ehains eneireled her aukles, and all her toes and fingers were adorned with valuable rings."

The silk-net veil of a erimson or purple eolor, embroidered in silver, whieh the Mogul ladies wear, either to eover the faee or to throw haek over the sheulders as an ornament, is similar to that men tioned in the "Odyssey" as being presented by Helen to Telemaehus:—

"The beauteous queen, advaneing, then displayed
A shining veil, and thus endearing said:
'Aeeept, dear youth, this monument of love,
Long sinee in better days by Helen wove;
; Safe in thy mother's eare the vesture lay,

To deek thy bride and graee thy nuptial day.'"

The eourt of Hyder Ali was the most brilliant of his time in India. His eompany of eomedians was very eelebrated, both on aeeount of their riehes and the beauty as well as the harmonious voiees of the Bayaderes or daneing-girls. The dimpled eheeks : of these lovely ereatures are tinged a yellow eolor, whieh, theugh a strange adornment in the eyes of a European, is mueh admired by the Orientals. Their blaek hair hangs in flowing tresses to the ground. Their dress is always made of fine gauze, very riebly embroidered with gold, and they are eovered with jewels. The head, neek, ears, breast, arms, fingers, legs, and toes, have eaeh their own peeuliar ornament, and even the nose is adorned with a diamond. Small bells are frequently used as ornaments by these fair maidens.

"A rone of sweet bells Round the waist of some fair Indian daneer is ringing."

The Sikhs, the most rising people of modern India, next eome under our observation. Runjeet ; Singh, their eelebrated ehief, like Hyder Ali, had & groat taste for the adornments of fashion, and was imitated in his love of fine elothes by his whele eourt, whieh was in this respeet unequalled in all the East.

The Sikhs wear a small flat turhan, whieh beeomes them well, and a shert tunie, whieh only deseends as far as the knee, leaving the rest of the leg exposed. Costly broeades and shawls lined with fur are employed by the great for these tunies. The Sikhs wear their hair long; the ladies of the tribe knot it at the erown, and throw over the head a robo, whieh also envelops the body, and gives them a singular appearanee. They pull the hair so tight to form this knot that the skin of the forehead is drawn with it, and the eyebrows are eonsiderably removed from the visual organs.

The glowing deseriptions in the "Arahian Nights" are not more gorgeous than the realities often met with in India.

A seene whieh took plaee at tho Maharaja's eourt at Lahero is worthy of deseription. "The hall of audieneo is built entirely of marble, and is the work of the Mogul emperors; part of the roof was gorgeously deeorated by a pavilion of silken eloth, studded with jewels. The Maharaja himself wore a neeklaee, armlets, and braeelets of emerald, some of whieh were very large; the nobles likewise displayed upon their persona vast quantities of jewels, and all the eourt was hahited in yellow, the favorite eolor of the nation."

The noighbors of the Sikhs, the Seindinns, from religious motives, wear garments of dark eolor, and form their turhans of tight and round folds of eloth.

The weaving and embroidery of India are justly eelebrated, and havo been so for many ages. The stuffs of Mooltan and Bhawalpoor are now interwoven with gold, and frequently of a purple eolor; and we read that Aureng-Zebe had a tent lined with Masulipatam ehintzes, figured with flowers, so natural in appearanee, and of sueh vivid eolors, that the tent resembled a real parterre.

The muslin drawers worn by the women in India are frequently most riebly and beautifully embroidered with needlework, and somo of them are of so fine a texturo as only to allow of onee putting on. Satins and silks are also embroidered in the hand, in great quantities. One of the garments worn by Aureng-Ze'bo is deseribed as having been a vest of white delieately-flowered satin, adorned with a silk and gold embroidery of the finest texturo and the brightest eolors.

In this eountry men as well as women devote mueh time to embroidery; and it is not an usual to see several of the former seated eross-legged on a mat, employed in a manner that in Europe would be eonsidered effeminate, and quite below the dignity of the nobler sex. But in India the needle does not belong exelusively to woman; her prerogative is there invaded; and the most delieate patterns of tinted flowers, or muslins fine as the spider's weh,

[merged small][graphic]

With the Birmans many artieles of daily use as well as of ornament indieate the rank of the possessor. The shape of the betel-box, whieh is earried by an attendant after the people of distinetion; the ear-rings, eap of eeremony, herse furniture, and oven the metal drinking-eup, all indieate the different degrees of soeiety: and woe bo to him who assumes the insignia of a rauk to whieh he has no legitimate right!

The eommon dress of a man of distinetion eonsists of a tight eoat with long sleeves made of muslin, or of very fine nankeen, and a silk wrapper fastened at the waist . The eourt-dross of the nohility is very beeoming: it is formed of a long robe, either of flowered satin or velvet, reaehing to the ankles, with an open eollar and loose sleeves. Over this there is a searf, or flowing mantle, that hangs from the sheuldors; and on their heads they-wear high eaps made of velvet, or silk embroidered with flowers, aeeording to the rank of the wearer. Earrings are an indispensable part of the attire. Some of them are made of gold tabes about three inehes in length, expanding into a hall at the lower end; others eonsist of heavy masses of gold, the weight of whieh often drags the ear down to the extent of two or three inehes.

The Birman women h;ivo their distinguishing ornaments as well as the men: their hair is tied in a buneh at the top of the head, and bound round With a fillet, the embroidery and jowels of Whieh mark their respeetive ranks. Their dress eonsists of a shert ehemise, and a loose jaeket with tight

« السابقةمتابعة »