Bonnie Prince Charlie & the Jacobites - Fans at Court
From Fiona Buckland
What is it?
This fan may have been used by a woman attending court at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. In the 18th century, fans were elite accessories – often ‘worn’ or used by women on notable social occasions.
Why is it important?
The fan leaf depicts Prince Charles Edward Stuart in the company of classical gods and goddesses. These types of objects allowed women to display their political allegiances within the social strictures of the period.
This and other fans and Margaret of Oliphant’s dress were associated with a Ball thought to have been held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse after the battle of Prestonpans, in September 1745.
There is some debate as to whether there was any celebratory ball after Prestonpans - we find out why in the next step.
For now, though, let’s enjoy this politicised, gendered object with Viccy Coltman.