Advent Calendar of 2017 Produced

For the fourth year in a row Rundāle Palace Museum has issued Advent Calendar offering closer look at museum collections. One does not always have the possibility during the visit to examine each exhibit to notice tiny, delicate details and nuances. However, often they deserve the most admiration. This year we focused on hand fans.

The collection of Rundāle Palace Museum includes more than 40 hand fans discovered at small antique shops in French towns or bought at the largest auction houses of Paris and Stuttgart. Chronologically collection covers the time period spanning over 200 years (from late 17th century until early 20th century). It provides representation of manifestations of various styles – Baroque, Classicism, Empire style, Art Nouveau – and enables one to evaluate different technological solutions. The hand fans are made of ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoise shell, horn, bone, wood, silk, paper. Materials are carved, silver plated, gilded, painted with outstanding skill. Each hand fan is ideally suited to its basic function – to cool its user with easily created airflow. They served also another purpose: indicating owner’s taste, prestige and ability to follow the fashion trends, as well as enabling to communicate the mood, desires and hopes… The antique hand fans are unique source of history for contemporary person.

To view the Advent Calendar, please, follow this link:

Hand fan “Repose in the countryside”. Circa 1670. Ivory, gouache, gilding. Length 20.8 cm