Handheld History: A Virtual Exhibition of Fashion Fans from Across the Globe
Object Details:
Souvenir Folding Hand Fan, 1930s-1950s
Made in Spain
Wood, Fabric, and Metal
This Spanish souvenir hand fan is black with bullfighting decal and hand painted flowers on sandalwood sticks and guards and starched linen leaf. There are 28 sticks and 2 guards that are painted black with the exception of the gorge. Slightly offset to the right, a large decal depicting a bullfighting scene, a woman wearing a mantilla and holding a folding fan, and a historic building is applied to the sticks. There are hand painted flowers and leaves in red, blue, yellow, and green to the left of the decal on the sticks which extend upwards and across the majority of the narrow, black leaf. A thin, gold painted line adorns the edges of the black part of the sticks, the top border of the leaf, and a wavy line down the center of the guards. The sticks have a varnished topcoat. A metal rivet secures the sticks.
This fan was purchased from a fan sale in April 2019 at the Fan Association of North America (FANA) Assemblage.

McCall 3760 - Spanish Gentleman and Toreador Costume UnsungSewingpatterns.net CA 1932
Cultural Connections:
Souvenir hand fans from Spain, such as this example from the Lasell Fashion Collection, featuring bull fighting or corrida de toros made their way across the globe as documentation for this ritualized sport. The traditional corrida is credited to Juan Belmonte one of the greatest matadors of all time. Bull fighting was held in massive arenas with thousands of spectators dressed in the finest fashions.

The wildly popular film Blood and Sand staring Rudolph Valentino in 1922 based on a great Spanish matador had a lasting impact into the following decade creating a sensation for Latin lovers dressed in traditional attire. As a result, McCall's capitalizes on this trend providing sewing patterns from which to create time-honored Spanish attire.
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