Art Deco Ostrich and Bakelite Flapper Fan


A very large Ostrich feather flapper fan made of yellow bakelite sticks and yellow, cream and blush pink dyed feathers.



Origin: France

Date: 1920s

This is a very large Ostrich feather flapper fan of a type called “pleureuse” – the feathers have hand knotted extensions so that they fall forward to create a cascading effect. Typically, these fans only have 3-5 sticks, as opposed to the much wider Victorian and Edwardian Ostrich feather fans. Please see George Barbier’s famous fashion illustration entitled Eventails dated to 1924, which shows similar Ostrich feather fans.
The fan is made of butter scotch and orange coloured bakelite sticks (please note that I am not an expert on early plastics, but I am pretty sure that it is bakelite and not celluloid) and very large Ostrich feathers. The feathers are dyed a bright yellow at the bottom that gradually changes into a light cream /off-white in the centre and into a blush or dusty pink shade (hex code #d29b8e) towards the tips to create a fabulous ombré effect. I have shown the fan on two different backgrounds, but the actual shades are closer to those shown on the pale grey background. Ombré and Pleureuse Ostrich feather fans were very popular in the 1920s. The gold lamé ribbon was probably added by the original owner of the fan.

Length (when laid out flat): 29″ (74 cm) Width: 29″ (74 cm)

Condition: Very good, usable condition.