Two-sided painted fan in gray, blues, and white. Bone sticks inset with silver leaf. Side one: five vignettes of pastoral scenes, each describing the stages of a man's life. Floral embellishment. Side two: three additional courtship vignettes.
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.