These fans were amassed by a collector who later donated them to The Atkinson.
The fans are a mixture of silk and paper. Some have wooden guards and sticks (the “skeleton” of the fan), and others are made of bone and even ivory.
Fans have been used for thousands and thousands of years, especially in hotter climates. Over the centuries, they have been used in ceremonies, dances, and social situations to send secret messages.
This one was produced to commemorate Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798.