Newsletter No. 4-07 (Apr. 2007)   Page 4 of 5 / Sidan 4 av 5. [back to page 1] Arcive/Arkiv: [1] [2] [3] [4]


This newsletter is written in order to spread experiences within the topic of historic textiles and reconstructions. Our ambition is to amuse you and stimulate interest in the 18th Century. Durán Textiles, who is mainly working with museum collections and Royal Castles, was founded in 2002 by CEO and production manager Laila Durán, with co-worker artist Torkel Henriksson who is doing the artworks and preparing the designs for production. Our production is done mostly in India supervised by Duran Textiles inspectors. 
- The articles are mainly written by Laila Durán but we also have help from colleagues and specialists from several museums and universities.  In the future this newsletter will be distributed four times a year and is free of charge. We hope you will enjoy our stories and offers and help us to spread the letter to friends and colleagues. Contact:

Detta nyhetsbrev skrivs för att sprida erfarenheter inom ämnet rekonstruktioner av historiska textiler och 1700-talet. Ambitionen är att roa och stimulera intresset. Durán Textiles har varit verksamt sedan 2002 och arbetar med projekt för Kungliga Slott och museisamlingar i hela Skandinavien. Laila Durán är VD och projektledare, Torkel Henriksson arbetar med originalen och alla förlagor för tryck och väv. På plats i Indien, där de flesta av tygerna produceras, finns Durán Textiles egna inspektörer.
- Artiklarna skrivs huvudsakligen av Laila Durán men vi får även hjälp av kollegor och specialister från olika muséer och universitet.  Nyhetsbrevet kommer i fortsättningen att komma ut fyra gånger per år och är helt kostnadsfritt. Vi hoppas ni ska uppskatta våra artiklar och erbjudanden och även sprida informationen vidare till Era vänner. Kontakt:



A short lesson in the secret language
of the 18th century

By Laila Durán.

The hand fan was an absolute necessity to a lady in the 18th century. Not only could she fan the air for comfort and grace but it gave a marvellous opportunity for discreet communication. In Sweden young girls were thought how to handle the fan at dancing schools and through books of etiquette. The skill to hold and use the fan added excitement to the quiet flirtation common at society events.
In one of the more famous Swedish painting of the aera, Alexander Roslin painting “Lady with the wail” from 1768 there is not much doubt that the lady is flirting but it has been forgotten that she is actually using her fan to say “come and see me in three days”.

Here are some most useful signs to add spice to your next social event.

Hide your eyes behind the fan-
I love you (When the eyes are closed the heart opens)
Fold the fan over your heart-
I am yours for ever
Lend somebody your fan-
You are pleasing me
Fan the air quickly-
My heart is on fire
Folded fan at your right cheek-
Folded fan at your left cheek-
Carry your folded fan in the left hand-
Come and talk to me
Hide your left eye with the fan-
Please keep our secrete
Fan the air slowly-
I am not interested
Cover your décolleté with the fan-
I am blushing
Fan yourself with the left hand-
Don’t flirt with that woman.
Closed fan with the handle at your lips-
You may kiss me
Open and close fan several times-
You are cruel
Drop you fan-
We will be friends
Fan the air quickly and look away-
I am married / engaged
Half open fan in front of face-
We have to be careful, people are watching
Hitting things with the fan-
I am impatient
Place the fan behind your head-
Do not forget me

Source: Nordiska Museets bibliotek - How to behave in the 18-19th century

Fans are beautiful but they have also played a political part during some very turbulent times.
When the Danish King Frederik IV (1699-1730) chooses Anna Sofie Reventlow to be his queen it was not a popular choice, many Danes ware against it. When her picture was painted for her husband to be she holds her fan saying to him, “our love is eternal, and I will always be with you” demonstrating her affection for him.

The fact that the fan was synonymous with women got dramatic consequence in Spain during the inquisition. This dogmatic regime held such regard for this feminine accessories that no one were allowed to confiscate them. It could therefore be used as dispatches of revolutionary messages. The famous painter Goya who where several times questioned by the inquisition painted fans for the high-borne ladies who quietly helped to undermine the power of the regime.

In 1685 the Edict of Nantes was revoked in France. This caused large-scale immigration from France to the surrounding Protestant countries (such as England) of many craftsmen. This dispersion in skill is reflected in the growing quality of many fans from these non-French countries after this date. In the 18th century, fans reached the highest degree of artistries and were being made throughout Europe by specialised craftsmen. Folded fans were decorated and painted by skilled artists and silk and lace fans became fashionable.
Some of the most beautiful women of the century were painted with their fan, projecting power, status and riches.

A tribute to the fan- and women- written in 1780 by G.R.Derjavine.

“If I possessed the entire Earth
I would be a fan.
My breeze would refresh the whole world
And I would be a shield for the universe;
And you Chloé, upon fluttering me,
Singing from the strong heat,
You would be radiant like the sun
And beautiful thanks to my shadow.

Collecting Fans
Fra maskulint magtsymbol til feminint flirte middle av Kirsten Lindberg



”The Lady with the veil” painted by Alexander Roslin 1768.

French folding fan, ivory and painted paper, ca 1760.

”Madame de Pompadour” painted by Francois Boucher 1759.

Hand fan in painted silk, carved and gilt mother-of-pearl, ca 1770.

Duchess Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta painted by Alexander Roslin 1774.

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