There is very few form of art which combines functional, ceremonial, and decorative uses as elegantly as the “hand fan”. Fewer still that can match such diversity with a history stretching back for at least 3,000 years.
Pictorial records show that the earliest hand fan dated around the 3000 B.C. The evidence suggests that the Greeks, the Etruscans, and the Romans all used the fans for cooling during the summer time and as ceremonial devices. Literary sources recorded that the Chinese associated the fan with ancient mythical and historical characters.
By the 18th – 19th century the use of fans spread throughout Europe. At the same time, fans imported from China by traders were ever popular. During this period, classy ladies carry fans as a must have accessory. It gave them style and elegant.
Today, fans again reflects the social and economical times in the 20th century, with the rise of advertising and a more practical and wasteful society. Today, in Europe, only in Spain is the fan parts of everyday life, as it still remains in most hot countries, particularly in the Far East, and especially in Japan, China and Taiwan.