More about fans

The Fan collection

The Company’s collection of some 250 fans includes fine 18th and 19th century examples. Several fans have Royal provenance and were donated to the Company by HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. Other donors include Past Master Bernard Ross Collins, Past Master Leslie Ross Collins, Past Master Norman Latchford and Mr. Liveryman John Brooker, one of the Company’s traditional fan makers. A few examples are pictured and described below.

The Royal Autograph Fans were presented by Bernard Ross Collins in 1945. They are displayed on all ceremonial occasions. The first fan is of ostrich feather and is a copy of the one presented to Queen Elizabeth in 1937, plus a second small, plain folding fan of ‘chicken skin’ bearing signatures of various members of the Royal Family (including Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra, King George VI and the Duke of Edinburgh, plus various royal ladies) and ivory sticks with Past Master Homewood Crawford’s gold badge mounted on the handle. The fan case is made from timbers from the old Guildhall, destroyed by enemy bombs in 1940.

The Royal Autograph Fans

The Rape of the Sabines painted on ‘chicken skin’. 20 pierced and backed mother of pearl sticks. 12″ high, circa 1750. Given to HRH Princess Alice by Queen Mary.

 The Rape of the Sabinesfan-rapeofsabines2

Lace fan mounted on 16 mother of pearl sticks. Circa 1900. Given to HRH Princess Alice by Lady Morton.

Lace fan

Sacrifice to Diana painted on kid skin. 22 ivory sticks with carved guards. 10″ high. English circa 1700.

Sacrifice to Diana Sacrifice to Diana

Diana and her Nymphs painted on dark kid skin. 24 plain ivory gilt painted sticks, guardsticks carved and pierced. Leaf Italian, sticks possibly English Early 18th Century.

Diana and her Nymphs

Travellers possibly biblical scene painted on kid skin. 20 carved ivory sticks. Early 18th. Century.


Parade at Bath painted and engraved on paper leaf. Beau Nash depicted in red coat. 21 plain ivory sticks. 11″ high. English 1740.

Parade at Bath

Worship of the Golden Calf painted on paper. 22 pierced and carved ivory sticks. English circa 1740.

Worship of the Golden Calf