The Victorian Silent Language of Fans

Posted by Lisa Harp on

Fans were such a predominant feature in Victorian symbolism.....want to know why? The fan was a necessary tool to combat both heat and insects, so abundantly found, making it the perfect tool for wordless communication. Victorian women were actually taught the proper use of the fan to get their silent message across.

Here are some traditional meanings of 'Fan Language':

A fan place close to your heart : "You have won my love."

A fan pressed to your lips : "You may kiss me.

Eyes shaded with a fan: "I love you

A fan resting on your right cheek: answers "yes"

A fan resting on your left cheek: answers "no"

To fan slowly: "I am Married"

It’s no surprise Victorians were intrigued with Japanese fan culture. The fan handle represents birth while the fan blades symbolize the many possible paths in life.

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