It will be helpful to note the parts of a fan with this diagram. (Courtesy of the Fan Association of North America (FANA))
In the 1860s there are different styles that were in use:
FoldingAs the name implies, made of fabric or paper attached to sticks, this fan neatly folds closed on itself and opens into a semi-circle. During this era, these fans range from 8” to 11”, although 9” to 10.5” are the more commons sizes. The sticks and guards can be made of a variety of materials such as wood, bone, ivory, Mother-of-Pearl, tortoise shell, etc
BriseThis fan also folds, but the sticks are of rigid material and are joined in place with a ribbon. The sticks themselves may be decoratively pierced or merely painted.
Jenny Lind or PalmetteA folding fan with individual leaves or palmettes attached to each stick sewn together with a thread.
CockadeA folding fan that opens out into a complete circle. When the fan is opened, the guards come round together to become the handle.
FixedA non-folding, rigid fan that is fixed on a stick. This type of fan can be of various shapes and materials, and is thought to be the oldest style of fan.
The industrial revolution brought about the concept of mass production and this affected fans as well. In 1859 Alphonse Baude perfected the machine manufacture of fan sticks. This reduced fans from individual art objects to simply mass-produced products. But it also made fans more affordable to the general public. Still a popular accessory, now nearly every lady could afford a fan of some type.
|At the Theatre, by James Hayllar|
|Olga Charlotte Marie Gräfin zu Solms-Tecklenburg, by Eduard Robert Bary|
|Portrait of a Lady With a Fan, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter|
|Princess Victoria, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter|
|Portrait of Mrs Augusta Magniac, by Lord Frederic Leighton|