Try asking the Fan Museum if you are really stuck.    I 
have two circular fans - modern ones.   One is rigid and made of peacock 
feathers, the other folds and is stiff paper.  I have other fans which are 
made of what looks like sized fabric, but these are the conventional shape 
and have wooden sticks behind each 'pleat'.


Subject: [BRITARCH] Roman Fans

Not the sort cheering on the chariots!!

There is a tombstone in Tullie House in Carlisle which shows a lady holding
what is interpreted as a circular fan - appears as a stalk to hold it and a
circle of material which has pleats or folds radiating from the centre.  The
stalk appears to have a centre line, suggesting that the fan folds shut.
Anyone any clues as to what the actual fan bit would have been made of - the
obvious thoughts I have are papyrus (a well known product of the Solway
Plain area) or fine cloth with wooden stiffeners.  I suppose it would even
be possible to make it up from very fine wooden strips but I would have
thought that the depiction of this would have been slightly different.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)