Hot Days and Hand Fans

Nowadays in addition to carrying my red metal water bottle I make sure I have a little folding paper fan with me. Although it doesn’t help that much on the hot, airless carriages of London Underground I am usually grateful for the relief this simple classic device provides. I’ve always like the look of fans; here are some photographs I’ve taken in the last ten years which include fan imagery:

One taken on the Tube, 2017:

This monument at the entrance to Ibiza Town representing a woman in traditional Balearic costume  – I particularly like the hands which have a ring on each finger. The right hand holds a fan, its decorative border implying a lace trim:


My mum back in 2010, then aged 72, having a hot flash during a Friday night Sabbath meal. In keeping with her background in dance and performance, she decided to make it a stylish moment:

A vintage fan depicting a woman with a fan, seen in shop window in Rome:

Detail of a bottle label of Sanchez Romate Fino Perdido sherry:

Next a few photos featuring fans and The London Lucumi Choir. Below, a photo taken last week at a hot recording session –  Ola and fan:

One featuring a folding fan as wall decoration.  Photographed during a rehearsal at Lucumi Choir director Daniela’s former home – a portrait of Andres in a Miles Davis T shirt, 2010:

A collaboration with the choir and dancers Hannah Anderson Rickets & Ffion Davies Campbell, 2014:

And some images featuring fans at London’s Afro Cuban Music Night:

To the right of the fan – Bill Bland on batà drum:


Marie & Fan, July 2019:

I tried to find old family photographs that included a representation of a fan. I do remember my Persian grandmother in London having a set of rigid rather than pleated hand held fans: I have romanticised these in my memory so that they evoke palm leaf props in a biblical Cecil B. de Mille film. I couldn’t find any photographic evidence of the family fans. Instead I came across proof of the ultimate temperature regulator – drinking boiling hot glasses of lemon tea aka Chai Limoo on a summer’s day. Below a scan of a photo from before I was born, found in my late father’s collection. Stamford Hill circa early 1950s:


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.