The Florence Diaries: A Feather Fan
Recreated by La Signora Onorata Katerina da Brescia.

Southerbys Florentine School (16thC) Portrait of a Woman  Said ToBeVittoria Colonna by an unknown artist maybe 1530-40s. This has been enhanced to see the fan in more detail. It is a feather fan (black feathers) and a metal handle. there is a chain attatching it to the girdle.

La Moda lists peacock feathers as being recorded for use in Fans in Florence and recorded in Eleanora's guardaroba. I have some peacock feathers that have been sitting in my cupboard for a few years now.. (that Ramerez cloak that never eventuated)...

I purchased a metal fan handle from Oonagh's Own (right). the top is cylindrical so will have to be flattened.

Far right is the final fan.

Research: can be seen here.

I have been collecting peacock feathers for a few years now (thanks to Mistress Oonagh for a gift of some also).
  • I  squished the handle flat (pic 1)
  • then cut out some layers of cardboard shaped to fit into the handle
  • I then positioned 3 layers of feathers and placed them into the cardboard, using the corrigation as the holes for the feathers
  • once I was happy with the positioning, I glued each feasther in with aryldite. I wanted a fairly compact fan to give maximum fanning potential in the summer.
  • I glued the 3 layers together and pushed them into the handle.
  • I pushed in and over the edges to hold in the cardboard (this should be easier to replace/fix later as feathers break, as I expect they will).
the handle suitably squished (by wooden hammer)

the three layers placed in the cardboard the final fan ready for use

© K Carlisle. November, 2007

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(c). K.Carlisle, 2009.