Indian Hand Fan

Complete set of 16 nos. of special postage stamps on the Indian Handheld Fans :

Handheld Decorative FanIssued by India

Issued on Dec 30, 2017

Issued for Department of Posts is pleased to issue a set of 16 Commemorative Postage Stamps on the theme Indian Hand Fan.

Credits :
Stamp/Sheetlets/Miniature Sheet/First Day Cover : Shri Jatin Das
Brochure/Cancellation Cachet : Smt. Nenu Gupta

Type : Miniature SheetMint Condition

Colour : Multi Colour

Denomination : 1500 Paise (16)

Sheetlets Printed (5 types) : 0.1 million each

Miniature Sheet Printed (2 types) : 0.1 million each

Printing Process : Wet Offset

Printer : India Security Press, Nashik

About : 

  • The origin of hand fans can be traced as far back as 4,000 years ago in Egypt. The fan was seen as a sacred instrument used in religious ceremonies and was also seen as a symbol of power even in its early forms. Other ancient people such as the Hebrews, Persians, Greeks, and Romans also used hand fans in various forms.
  • The folding hand fan is recognized as being invented in Japan or China with both countries holding legends of its creation. In Japan the fan is thought to be modelled after the folding wings of a bat, while the Chinese believe the sight of a woman fanning her face mask at a festival led to the tool’s creation.
  • Regardless of how the folding fan originated, the device was taken to Europe in the 1500s by way of trade routes and became an exotic and stylish symbol of wealth and class.
  • The History of Indian Hand Fans is traced to ancient times for use in temples to fan deities, as also in royal courts and households. There is a mention of fans in Mahabharata. Temple fans vary in size from tiny two inches to large fans needing the full strength of a person to move them.
  • The villages and towns of Indian subcontinent have varieties of traditional hand fans. In each place, the hand fans are made of different materials and have different varieties of intricate designs.
  • Traditional crafts have survived in India because rural folk still make and use them. The same is true with traditional Indian hand fans, as the general public in villages and towns are still connected with traditional hand fans. The craft of fan making is done mainly by women all over India.
  • There are antique ceiling-fans from the Mughal and Colonial period that were pulled by Pankhawala from outside the room and used for large congregations in temples, royal courts and aristocratic darbars and offices. There are fans called phad, large hand fans held by an attendant for groups of nobles and women. Then there are ceremonial fans and a large variety of personalized fans.
  • Indian hand fans have many varieties, some fans are embellished with beads, silk, satin, some include paintings, prints, miniatures, patterns which tell a story of its origin from past to the present.
  • Department of Posts is releasing Commemorative Postage Stamps on the following 16 Indian Hand Fans:
    • Applique Hand Fan, Rajasthan: An appliqué is ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn or stuck onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. It is an antique old hand fan from Rajasthan; sporting colourful frills and handle missing in this old rare fan.
    • Zardozi Hand Fan, Rajasthan: Zardozi embroidery Hand Fans are made glitteringly ornate and have heavily encrusted gold thread work. Embroidered Zardozi hand fan is from Rajasthan which is antique and rare.
    • Painted Hand Fan, Rajasthan: Hand fan painted on cardboard are used at Krishna Temple’s and are rare antique fan. This hand fan painted with various types of images are popular in Rajasthan.
    • Mirror Work Hand Fan, Gujarat: Gujarat is well known for the mirror work hand fans which are beautiful ethnic fans made of pure cotton and embellished with mirror work to produce elaborate designs. Beads and mirror hand fans are now used as wall decoration.
    • Phadh Hand Fan, Uttar Pradesh: Phadh hand fan is a rare antique fan with pure gold and silver zari, silk and satin frills. It was used to fan congregation of royalty and nobles.
    • Beads Hand Fan, Gujarat: Gujarat is the centre for bead craft across the country and it is also famous for its beads hand fans which is covered with colourful beads and has a silver handle.
    • Satin Ceiling Fan, Rajasthan: Rajasthan hand-pulled ceiling fan with silk and satin frills were used in the royal households. A rope was tied to the fan which passed through a hole, pulled by a Pankhawala sitting outside the room.
    • Palm Leaf, Odisha: A large palm leaf fan in natural color is used in Odisha.
    • Feather Hand Fan, Delhi: Feather Hand Fans are composed of peacock feathers. Each feather consists of tiny flat branches. It has a variety of decorative uses. These hand fans are available in many parts of North India including Delhi and Rajasthan.
    • Sola Pith Hand Fan, Bengal: West Bengal is famous for its Sola Pith art and craft which includes hand fans of Sola Pith. These hand fans are made by beautiful milky-white sponge-wood of the Sola tree, a plant of bean family – generally found in marshy waterlogged areas. Sola pith, reed hand fans are used for Devi worship and are very delicate.
    • Temple Hand Fan, Rajasthan: Temple hand fans are engraved brass hand fan with a long handle, offered to the temple deity in Rajasthan and some other places.
    • Leather Hand Fan, Kutch, Gujarat: Leather hand fans are from Kutch, Gujarat wherein the leather is hand stitched into its desired shape and is further decorated with threads or wool on its seams.
    • Date Palm Hand Fan, Sindh: The most popular raw material used for crafting hand fans, mats and baskets is the date palm leaf. Split palm leaves are used to make hand fans.
    • Embroidery Hand Fan, Gujarat: These traditional mirror work and cross stitch embroidery hand fans are created by the industrious home based women workers of Gujarat. It comes in different shapes and sizes.
    • Palm Leaf Hand Fan, Bengal: West Bengal is famous for its hand fans made of Palm Leaf. It is a traditional Bengali hand fan also known as Tal-Patar Pankha. These light-weight hand fans are easy to carry and are a permanent article of possession of a household.
    • Bamboo Hand Fan, Bihar: Hand Fans made of Bamboo, available in Bihar is distinctive for its colourful appearance and sturdy quality.
  • Text : Based on the material available on internet & material provided by Shri Jatin Das.

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