Wedding Fan

Wedding Fan

진주선 (眞珠扇)

mid-1800s

Copper alloy; satin weave silk; silk and metal thread embroidery; and paper

Diameter: 25.6 cm (10 1/16 in.)

Director's Contingent Fund 1918.558

Fun Fact

This fan was not to cool oneself, but rather to veil a bride's face during a wedding ceremony as a gesture of chastity.

Description

In the Joseon period, women between the ages of 14 and 20 were matched with a husband through an arranged marriage. Even during the marriage ceremony, a bride was supposed to veil her face with this type of embroidered fan as a gesture of chastity. The fan’s body is made of paper and silk trimmed with a gilded metal rim. On the front, four cranes—one pair in blue, the other in yellow—are stitched along with auspicious clouds. The back is adorned with dragons flying amid clouds. The metal band vertically running down the center is incised with a bat, a symbol of wealth.

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