Fan of printed and painted paper with mother-of-pear sticks, which are inlaid with gold, silver, and copper as well as mirror. One side of the fan is divided into four large figural sections; each part describes courtship scenes played out by elaborately dressed characters in a pastoral setting. The other side has three scenes of betrothal customs. Characters depicted in Asian-style dress.
Belonged to Mrs. William O. (Erna M. Sawyer) Goodman, grandmother of donor.
The silent "language of the fan" gave women a means to flirt in a time when the culture of women was strictly choreographed and monitored. Touching the tip of her finger to her fan, for example, meant a woman wanted to speak to a gentleman; and placing her fan by her left ear meant she wanted the gentleman to leave. With such a visible role in courtship, fans often featured romantic scenes.