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Object Name Fan
Date 1850-1880
Description Folding fan. Paper leaf with hand-painted design on both sides. One side of the leaf depicts a rooster and hen in a landscape with flowers (dogwood and lily). The opposite side has a landscape with mountains and flowering cherry trees with pink blossoms. Bamboo sticks and bone guardsticks with enameled floral decoration. Riveted at bottom, with a metal loop and a red silk string with two tassels. Made in Japan. Japanese printed inscription consists of Chinese characters indicating the place of manufacture, tentatively translated as Haibara, Japan.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Asian, Landscape)
Ownership and History Japanese motifs, and the delicate, asymmetrical designs associated with Asian art, were quite fashionable in the United States during the latter half of the 1800s. The association with distant cultures added to the perception of fans as romantic.

Beautifully hand-painted, the leaf of this fan features a rooster and hen, perhaps symbolizing courtship or fidelity. The decoration on the guardsticks was made using a Japanese technique called Taka Maki-e, in which surfaces are ornamented with relief designs in precious metal.
Earliest Date 1850
Latest Date 1880
Material Paper/Bamboo/Bone
Subjects Roosters
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Catalog Number X99.1995
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Fan Association of North America (FANA), 2011. (
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.