Hand-fan stories

A bit of history…


The origin of the fan goes back to antiquity.

In Egypt.

The pharaoh was protected from flies by a hand-fan made of feathers or leaves waved by a courtier called a “flabelliferous”. Two hand-fans made of ostrich feathers and ivory handles were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. They were placed there in order to give breath to the deceased.

In China.

The hand-fan tradition is thousands of years old, dating back to the time of Emperor Hsien Yuan, around 2697 BC. These were fixed. It was only in the 7th century, in Japan, that the folding fan was invented by a craftsman while watching the wings of a bat unfold.

In Europe.

From 1540 onwards, the Portuguese, returning from Japan, spread the hand-fan to Europe from the wholesale market in Lisbon. Italy immediately adopted this new hand-fan shape. Catherine de Médicis brought Italian hand-fans into fashion at the French court, which had already been known since the campaign of Louis XII. They were made and sold by her perfumers.

In 1760, Martin Petit invented a pleating mould system that facilitated mass production.

The 18th century: the golden age of the fan.

The era of the hand-fan’s splendour was undoubtedly the 18th century. Having become an important item in the previous century, it was used not only by noble and middle-class ladies, but also by women of more modest status. By becoming a fashion accessory, the hand-fan took on a new dimension. It was adorned with different subjects and became a real art object.

The wind has died down.

It fell into disuse during the inter-war period, except as an advertising object and also in a few countries such as Spain, where production had been established less than a century earlier.

To day.

In 2005, Véra Pilo created the first French hand-fan brand that boldly revisits this elegant and ecological way of dealing with global warming. Her iconoclastic and contemporary hand-fans give a new light to this object and make it accessible to the greatest number of people.

Today it is enjoying a revival and, having left the courts of the kings of France, is once again a fashion accessory in its own right

Unanimity for the hand-fans of the National Assembly.


The “SCHOOL OF ATHENS” hand-fan

After three years of restoration, the Gobelins tapestry, the School of Athens, inspired by the work of Raphael, returned to its place at the heart of the hemicycle of the National Assembly on 15 September 2020.



The hand-fan “LES COCARDES”

The famous tricolour cockade was born during the French Revolution, from the union of the colours of the king (white) and the City of Paris (blue and red). Today it is the symbol of the French Republic.



They are waiting for you at the National Assembly shop.

Whoopi Goldberg
a big fan of Vera Pilo !


Hello, I’m the private secretary
of Mrs. Whoopi Goldberg, is this
at Vera Pilo’s house ?
A phone call from New York like that
in the morning, it’s a good start to the day…
a Baroquito hand-fan for Whoopi ?
no problem!

P.S. If we could get an autographed photo
that would be great. Thanks….
And here it is !!!


The Mona Lisa is smiling,
so are we.


With the new Mona Lisa hand-fan, designed by
Vera Pilo, Mona Lisa is all smiles !
Part of the “Céladon” product line created
by the RMN-Grand Palais, based on the famous
Leonardo da Vinci‘s famous painting,
the Mona Lisa hand-fan is a majestic display of the most
the most mysterious of smiles.
Printed on cotton and mounted on black painted wood
painted black varnished wood, it is delivered in a special
in a special cardboard box.
A souvenir or an essential gift idea
for your visit to the world’s largest museum.
On sale at the museum shop.

Van Gogh exhibition in Italy
in Vincenza.


Vincent Van Gogh painted “Road with a cypress tree
and starry sky” in Saint-Rémy de Provence in 1889.
It is one of the many studies that the painter
made on cypresses and stars, and which
prefigures the famous painting “Starry Night”.
It is on loan from the Rijksmuseum Kröller Müller
for the Van Gogh exhibition to be held in
Vincenza in Italy.
It is for this occasion that Vera Pilo has made
this hand-fan so that each visitor can take a piece of this
to take a piece of this masterpiece with them.

The mythical Club 55
from Ramatuelle to Saint-Tropez.


In 1955, Brigitte Bardot and the crew of the film
And God Created Woman” settled on a beach in Pampelonne
beach of Pampelonne and eat in a small
cabanon run by Bernard de Colmont.
Club 55 was born.
After the release of the film, the entire elite of
Saint-Germain-des-Prés rushed there.
Since then, this place has become the meeting place
of the international jet set.
Corinne and Bernard de Colmont, the current owners of the
the current owners of the place, were kind enough
to entrust us with the creation of the official hand-fan
of the Club 55.

2021, new hand-fans
for the Musée de la Compagnie
of the Indies.


We look forward to the reopening of our museums
of our museums to meet again in Lorient.
The unique theme of the Museum of the
of the Compagnie des Indes brings to life for the visitor
the extraordinary history of the great trading companies
of the great trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Models of ships, prints, old maps
Indo-European furniture, Chinese porcelain
porcelain, Indian cotton fabrics are all testimonies
of this incredible maritime epic.
A well of inspiration to create magnificent
fans on the theme of travel.
The summer of 2019 gave birth to the models
Palempore aux Paons, Vue de Lorient and Les
Birds of China. This year two new
two new Véra Pilo hand-fan creations will be on sale
in the shop: the Arbre de vie fan and the Pondichery
the Pondichery hand-fan.
A journey for each of your summer days !

The LOLO CHATENAY hand-fan
by Véra Pilo.


LOLO CHATENAY, no longer thinks of the handbag
in a single piece, but in several elements that can be
elements. Bases of all shapes,
reversible flaps and interchangeable handles and
interchangeable handles and straps… made from the finest
leather and materials.
LOLO CHATENAY handbags are made in France
in France by craftsmen trained in the most
the most prestigious techniques. The choice is
French or European suppliers, respectful of ecological
European suppliers, respectful of ecological standards.
Just like us. So what could be more obvious than
to slip a LOLO CHATENAY hand-fan
in your handbag.