Fan Museum

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 14th September 2016

Sometimes life gets hectic and I don't write the blogs I mean to do.  Was just looking back and realised that I didn't tell you about the fascinating Fan Museum in Greenwich.

I make no secret of the fact that I'm a romantic and when I discovered that my Free French Pilot René Mouchotte's great grandfather set up the highly successful Fan making business in Paris in 1827 I really wanted to 'own' a Duvelleroy fan.  I looked on Ebay and from time to time they came up for sale.  The rarest and the ones in best condition were a trifle beyond my purse but I got carried away on a few occasions and managed to bid for one or two in relatively poor condition but still very pretty.

Then I found out about the Fan Museum in Greenwich and made myself known to the Curator Jacob Moss.  One thing led to another and I was invited to give a talk on one of their special evenings.  This coincided with an exhibition of their lace fans and words fail me as to their beauty.  It also meant that I met the owner and creator of the Museum - an absolutely charming woman with an amazing knowledge of the World of Fans - Hélène Alexander.  One thing led to another and I decided that I would get the best of my small collection repaired and finally exhibited in fan cases - got to source them too.  I'm running out of wall space but I think I'll manage to find some for three small fans.

I can't praise the Fan Museum highly enough - not only is it a place displaying items of great beauty but it is also a place of Social history covering fans through the ages.  Their latest addition which I was privileged to see is an Elizabethan fan identical to one carried in a portrait of Elizabeth 1.  There are Chinese fans, square fans, lace fans, embroidered fans, painted fans - you name it and you will find them there in this small but totally comprehensive Museum.

In fact, dare I suggest that a visit would make a good day out for the family - whilst the women are perusing the fans and possibly partaking of tea in the Orangery the menfolk could go off to the nearby Greenwich Museum.

One of the many gorgeous exhibits from the Exhibition of Lace Fans. And what looks like diamonds - are diamonds??


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