Fan collection


MM 1


The Migration Museum holds approximately 50 hand-held fans of varying quality, aesthetic beauty and provenance. The majority are ornamental folding fans designed to be closed when not in use. Some are believed to have been brought to South Australia from Europe in the early days of the colony. The 'oriental' history of fans is represented by those formerly stocked by the China Gift Store on Rundle Street, Adelaide (owned by the Sym Choon family). The collection also includes a couple of paper promotional and commemorative fans issued by John Martin's Department Store.

In one sense these fans were utilitarian, especially for European migrants unused to South Australia's hot, dry summers. However, the collection really reflects the decorative nature of fans owned by South Australia's middle and upper classes in the 19th and 20th century. Many of the fans serve as accessories to the Migration Museum's extensive costume collection, whereas the paper fans are ephemera used to mark significant occasions in South Australia's history.

A Migration Museum collection. Access to collection items held in Museum Stores is by appointment only.


Cooling equipment; Fans; Folding fans; Hand fans; Rigid fans

Costume accessories; Fans

Fans; Fashion accessories

Fans (accessories); Personal effects

Migration Museum, South Australia; Sym Choon family

Coverage Spatial

China Gift Store, Rundle Street, Adelaide; South Australia; Australia; John Martin's Department Store, Adelaide

Coverage Temporal



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2012-12-12 16:46

2011-03-22 15:02