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Object Name Fan
Date 1876-1900
Description Folding fan, "Mai Ogi" type. Paper leaf (probably mulberry paper) is hand-painted on both sides. Front has a design of one red and two tan Japanese maple leaves; the leaf outlines are painted in metallic paint. Reverse has a design of four stylized orange maple leaves. Bamboo sticks, with tied white cord on guardsticks. Riveted at bottom, with metal loop. Made in Japan for export.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Asian, New York)
Acquisition Gift of Mrs. A.E. Simonson
Ownership and History This type of fan is called a Mai Ogi or dancing fan. The Mai Ogi, which first appeared in the 17th century, became extremely popular in this country after the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, where the Japanese pavilion had walls lined with paper fans. Custom-made fans commemorating events, or for use as souvenirs or for advertising, were special ordered from Japanese fan manufacturers during this period.
The Staten Island Historical Society's accession records indicate that this fan came from the dry goods store in Port Richmond, Staten Island that was originally operated by Mr. and Mrs. David F. Simonson and later run by their nephew, T. Irving Simonson.
Earliest Date 1876
Latest Date 1900
Material Mulberry Paper/Bamboo/Cord
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Simonson, David F.
Simonson, T. Irving
Catalog Number A31.0061
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.