Posts Tagged ‘accessories’

I have a little confession to make. When I go to the theater I can’t help but bring a few little accessories that are frowned upon in other settings, i.e. opera glasses and a fan. So imagine how thrilled I was to come across this clever late 18th century fan.

Fan, 1787-1788, London, Victoria and Albert Museum

The theater in the 18th century was not just a place where you went to see a play, it was also a place  you went to see people. And not just ordinary boring people, but a fascinating mix of peers, royals and royal mistresses. Many of these celebrated or notorious folks were subscribers – they rented a box at the theater for a season.

This particular fan was designed for celebrity-spotting at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket, originally called the Queen’s Theatre. It helpfully tells its owner the names of the subscribers of different boxes. So that when you grow tired of looking at the stage, you could gawk at the famous and the fashionable.

I can see how this could be very entertaining.

Source:  Victoria and Albert Museum


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