Chinese painted fans from the Song dynasty survive in relatively large numbers owing to the protective brocade mounts in which later collectors placed them. At the time of their initial production, however, fan paintings were meant to be held in the hand and worn on the body. This two-part article first considers the contexts of production, consumption, and signification of painted fans in twelfth- and thirteenth-century China, particularly in the urban setting of the capital city at Hangzhou. It then turns to the painted fans' transformation into collectibles in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, with attention given to the aesthetic, political, and social nostalgia of the Song-Yuan transition, which continues to flavor the reception of these images down to the present day.

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