A Secret Language: Fanning at Versailles


You never open your fan in the presence of the king: the fan talk is reserved for anyone but him! Some of the fan signs would still be valid; for example, try yawning behind the fan, doesn’t it show that the gentleman is boring? Shake it at him, obviously he is moving too fast. Flap the fan in your open hand, and it reads as an apparent displeasure, “Are you faithful?”

Now point the folded fan to the ground, this means you despise him; flip it to the right shoulder — hatred! But if you gently brush with the folded fan under your right eye, you are asking him when you can see him. And the same swift movement under the left ear tells him to keep it a secret. Pointing the closed fan toward yourself says that you want to get closer; now point it toward him, you request his immediate presence. Open your fan and hide your eyes behind it, “Yes, you love him!” Then you may fold it, for you accept everything….

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This entry was posted in Chateau Versailles, Semiotic Codes at Versailles, Uncategorized, Versailles Fashions. Bookmark the permalink.

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