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Object Name Fan
Date 1880-1890
Description Folding fan. White silk satin leaf has hand-painted dahlias, with applied white feathers along the top edge. Pierced and carved bone sticks and guardsticks. Mother-of-pearl washer at rivet. Metal loop.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Floral, Victorian, New York)

Acquisition Gift of Mrs. Joseph Vermilye
Ownership and History An enduring symbol of feminine beauty, flowers were a natural choice for decoration on fans. Moreover, a painted bouquet might signify a particular romantic sentiment. A floral fan could also complement an outfit or match the artificial flowers on an elaborate hat.

The soft edging of feathers above the painted dahlias adds to the romantic mood of this fan. Dahlias expressed the sentiment "forever thine," according to an 1874 publication.

This fan was donated to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1971 by Mrs. Joseph Vermilye. Research indicates that Alice Louise Love (1897-1990), daughter of Edward T. and Mary L. Love of Staten Island, married Joseph Ware Vermilye around 1920. The fan might have belonged to a family member of the previous generation.
Earliest Date 1880
Latest Date 1890
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Catalog Number C02.1583
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.