Versión en castellano
   
 
Origin of the fan
Folding format
Hand fans in Spain
fretworked fan
The fan in folding format
A legend declares that the folding fan is born around the VII Th century and claims that the invention belongs to a Japanese manufacturer that came up with the idea after watching a bat's wings. Maybe this is the reason why the first Japanese folding fans were called "komori", a word that in Japanese means bat.

In Europe, the folding fan shows up on the XVI Th century, probably through Portugal, a country that on those times had an intense commercial activity with Orient. On the trip that D Maria of Portugal does to Spain in order to marry Felipe the II Nd, a "fan" is mentioned, in the opinion of Pastor Cerezo that could be a folding one. Then, this could be one of the first references to this new type of fan.

Very soon, pictorial representations of this new kind of fan appear, one of the first examples can be seen on the portrait of the princess Juana of Austria, by Antonio Moro (1519-1576). From this point, ans become very usual on feminine portraits.

During centuries XVII and XVIII the folding fan becomes very popular, especially in Italy, Spain and England, being considered an object synonym of distinction and elegance. According to the opinion of Elisabeth the I st of England, a folding fan was the only gift that a queen could accept. This queen owned a large collection of folding fans, and always worn one on her portraits as well as the queen Christine of Sweden and Elisabeth of Farnesio (second wife of Felipe V) this queen had a collection of more than 1636 different pieces. The queen of Sweden, Luisa Ulrch founded the club of the fan for the ladies of her court.

On Luis XV times, the etiquette forbids the courts ladies to open their folding fans in presence of the Queen, except in a tray way to offer something to the sovereign.

From middle XVII and ahead, the fan is a fashion object, the use of it becomes very popular among ladies of all social statements during the next century. On this time the folding fan turns into an essential accessory that is also used as a way to hide or show emotions. Moliere names it as "the screen of shame". However not all the ladies had the same ability handling it, in opinion of Madame of Staël, this detail is what makes a difference between ladies.

 
In Europe, the folding fan shows up on the XVI Th century, probably through Portugal.
 
During centuries XVII and XVIII the folding fan becomes very popular, especially in Italy, Spain and England.
 
From middle XVII and ahead, the fan is a fashion object, the use of it becomes very popular among ladies of all social statements.
 
Pocket hand fans at theHandfan.com
Pocket hand fans are very appreciated due to the comfort that its small size provides when being carried.