Fans Font Friday – Art Deco

Here are some beautiful hand fans from the Art Deco era.

Vintage Advertising Hand Fan – 666 Brand Salve

A common use of imagery on hand fans seems to have been informational rather than just decoration. This one is for “666” brand remedy for everything from malaria to neuralgia. The stylized illustration of Diana is in the traditional depiction of the ancient world of gods and goddesses. The handle of the front of the fan uses a classically Art Deco all-caps font, with its low crossbars on the “E,” stylized “S,” and geometrically circular “O” and “Q.”

The back of the fan is a much less lyrical mishmash of fonts, introducing a completely different font for the “666” brand name.

Vintage 1930-40’s Cardboard Hand Fan: “Olga Schroeder for President”

I haven’t been able to find out when Olga Schroeder ran for President—if indeed it was for President of the United States rather than another, lesser office. The styling of the front is definitely Art Deco, with geometric, radiating forms and shading; the back is more generic, but has decorative forms (the  three vertical lines and graphic) reminiscent of the era. The Etsy listing, however, says “1930s-1940s,” so I’m not sure what’s going on.


Antique Art Deco Era Advertising Hand Fan Gallery Framed and Matted

This beautifully preserved fan advertises “Putnam Fadeless Dyes,” giving the designer free rein to use color as the main selling point: hence the peacock.  The fan has all the hallmarks of the deco style: sophisticated use of script fonts paired with decorative fonts, stylized depiction of the natural world and beautifully contoured shape.

“Les Parfums de Mury” folding fan

This folding fan has another successful pairing of script with decorative fonts, the latter showing all the thick-and-thin strokes one could want. The other side is a stylized illustration of a woman, also with the type. I can’t find the page where I got these images (yes, I tried a reverse image search), so we’ll all just have to wonder about the fan’s maker and provenance.