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Object Name Fan
Date ca. 1881-1891
Description Rigid fan (handscreen). Die cut cardboard in the shape of a sunflower has a chromolithographed illustration on each side. Front has image in a circle of a young man and woman kissing while seated in a rowboat, with a border of yellow sunflower petals. Reverse side has an image of a young woman in a rowboat, reaching down to pick lotus flowers from the water. Bamboo handle. Printed inscription on front: "H.C.F. KOCH & SON. DRY GOODS. / 6TH AVE. & 20TH ST. NEW YORK / DONALDSON BROTHERS, FIVE POINTS, N.Y." Printed inscription on reverse: "H.C.F. KOCH & SON, / COSTUMES / & WRAPS."
(Keywords: Accessory, Retail, New York City)
Acquisition From Alice Austen
Ownership and History This fan uses romantic imagery to advertise the dry goods emporium of H.C.F. Koch & Son. An 1882 article in the New York Times described the lavish displays of clothing and household textiles in their store at Sixth Avenue and 20th Street, proclaiming "one hundred ladies with a hundred different tastes might purchase garments at this store and each go away perfectly satisfied." In 1891 the company relocated to a large new building on West 125th Street in Harlem.

Alice Austen (1866-1952), the original owner of this fan, was a noted amateur photographer. She lived on Staten Island but often traveled into Manhattan to take photographs. Perhaps she acquired this fan on one of her trips to the city.

Earliest Date 1880
Latest Date 1891
Maker Donaldson Brothers
Material Cardboard/Bamboo
Subjects Advertising
Stores & shops
Lexicon Sub-category Advertising Medium
Associated People Austen, E. Alice
Catalog Number 45.002.0010
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.