The hand fan served many purposes in the Victorian Era. It was, first and foremost, a fashion accessory. A fashionable Victorian woman would make sure her gloves, boots, stockings and fan would all match.
To keep women informed about the newest style of fans, magazines published detailed articles in their fashion sections outlining the latest desirable fan. The most expensive fans were sold in their own individual velvet or silk-lined cases. However, inexpensive fans were shipped to America in large quantities, then boxed by the American shopkeeper.
Oral history states that these three fans belonged to Mrs. Ralston, Dr. Physick’s mother. Look for these fans in Mrs. Ralston’s Bedroom.