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Fans (Book)



Originally everyday functional objects, fans rapidly acquired ceremonial and social significance. Fashioned from a variety of materials into numerous shapes and sizes, they have served as an indicator of elegance and social status in many diverse cultures, from the guilded flabella of Ancient Egypt, to the hiogi of Japan.

In Europe, the fan became the utilitarian sceptre of kings, the toy of frivolous ladies, the subject of conversation for eighteen-century bluestockings, the vehicle of revolutionary messages, a sentimental Victorian token, and an advertising gimmick. Above all, the best fans are hand-crafted objects and therefore no two are identical, which makes recording and classifying them an absorbing and fascinating historical adventure.

This beautifully illustrated book traces the history of fans from biblical times to the present day.

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Museum Admission Pricing

Adults: £5.00
Children (age 7-16): £3.00
Family ticket (up to 2 Adults and up to 3 Children, also 1 Adult and 4 Children): £10.00
Concessions: £3.00
  • Students (with vaild student card)
  • Senior citizens
  • English Heritage
  • Friends of The Horniman
  • Friends of The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Staff/Volunteers of the National Maritime Museum
Free Entry for…

Children under 7, Disabled visitors and carers, Art Fund Members and London Pass Members

Wednesday Special:

Free entry for senior citizens.

Please note that the discounts listed above cannot be applied when visitors are part of a large group visit or guided tour group.  Please click here for further details.

Group Bookings

The Fan Museum’s opening times each week are Wednesday to Saturday 11h00-17h00, with last entries at 16h30 each day.

Our latest exhibition, ‘Boxed In, Fanned Out: Fans and their Boxes’, is open from 3rd November and will run into the New Year.

Tickets for Museum by Candlelight, our special Christmas late-opening experience, are now on sale. Book now to secure your place!


Opening times may vary in line with public holidays. We will attempt to keep our channels updated in this case.

Our Orangery is not open as a public tearoom.

Click here for details of how to hire the space.