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Carbonell fans

Carbonell fans
Abanicos Carbonell (Calle Castellon 21). The Carbonell family has been crafting exquisite handmade fans for four generations, since 1860. Handheld models range from the affordable ($25) to the elaborate, with one-off antique pieces selling for up to $9,000.

Fans are made of blades and a leaf. Cotton, silk and polyester cloths are mounted on ebony,rosewood, or mother-of-pearl blades in the case of high quality, medium quality ones are mounted on wood pear tree, banana tree, birch and for those economic ones we produce them with plastic blades. The blades, between 12 and 32, are lacquered, polished or varnished depending on the model. The cloths can be hand-painted, lithographed or plain.

Curiosities. Years ago, when society did not accept the approach between men and women, it was created a language of signs using the fan. This language communicated men and women from a certain distance. The sign fan language allowed them to prepare dates or to express their wishes without words and without other people knowledge. There was also another fan language much more complicated, by indications made with the fan on different parts of the hand which meant each one of them a letter, to build up words and sentences. Due to its difficulty it was barely used.

The fan language glossary:

  • To go out to the terrace fanning slowly and closing door behind: "I cannot go out"
  • To go out to the terrace fanning quickly and leaving the door open: "I’ll go out soon"
  • To lay the fan on the lips: "I do not trust you"
  • To move the fingers over the blades: "I want to talk to you"
  • To fan oneself quickly: "I love you very much"
  • To fan oneself slowly: "I do not care for yous"
  • To move the hair away from the forehead with the fan: "Do not forget me"
  • To pass the fan from one hand to the other: "I see that you are looking at another one"
  • To hit the hand with the fan: "Love me"

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