I was going to post about the fan in eighteenth century France, but then I came across the wonderful Fan Museum in Greenwich site. Truly it deserves a post all its own! Not only do they have an extensive collection of extant pieces from a range of time periods, but it is all housed in a restored Georgian townhome that is worth seeing for itself, or so the pictures lead me to believe.
The site gives a short history of the fan for those who can't wait for the upcoming post (and let's face it, travel preparations are delaying my posts), lots of pictures, details of current and upcoming exhibitions, a giftshop option, details of commissioned fans the museum has made for events and individuals, and a look at the venue which is available for weddings and other rentals.
The undeniably best part though is that they offer a fan-making class! You have to be there in person, obviously, and there is a fee, but they spent hours teaching you to make two different kinds of fans which you get to take home with you. If you would rather have a professional do the work, they also offer a special service to have one-off heirlooms made.
For anyone living near or visiting Greenwich I strongly recommend a trip to the museum to check it out! Next time I am in London, I thoroughly intend to make it part of my itinerary.