Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fans of Monograms

With the proliferation of monogram and crest collecting in the late 19th century, printing companies in England soon realized there was a large market for reproducing these fancy intertwined initials and colorful heraldic crowns. The engraved examples on letterheads and personal stationery were also prized among well-to-do collectors who had a lot of leisure time evidently. This growing trend soon spread across Europe beginning in the late 1860s and later spread to the United States where collectors began decorating silk cloth or lacquered wood imported from Japan with these colorful paper scraps. These fine examples of decorated fans are from this German site dedicated to the collection of fancy fans. Not content with the rich monogram detail on the fans here, this collector added a pointillist flourish of tiny little dots around each monogram as you can see below in greater detail. 


NickHeywood writes in lighthearted fashion on NickHaus about his least manly possession: this monogrammed Victorian silk fan found at a flea market.

Decorated fans have a fascinating attraction and historic place in the archives of communication. You can read more about fanology in this past post.

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