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Object Name Fan
Date ca. 1887-1910
Description Folding fan, Mai Ogi type. Brown paper leaf (possibly glazed mulberry paper) has a hand-painted large-scale floral design in pink and white, with blue and black leaves. The reverse side of the leaf has an inscription printed in red, surrounded by a white painted leaf design: "H. O'NEILL & CO., / SIXTH AVENUE, 20th to 21st St., N.Y. / Millinery, Dress Goods, Silks, / Cloaks, Suits, Furniture, / Groceries. / HOUSE FURNISHINGS. / CHINA and GLASS WARE. / Fine Restaurant on 4th Floor." Sticks are bamboo; the guardsticks have laced tan cord which is knotted at the upper edges. Made in Japan.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Asian, Advertising, Retail)
Acquisition Gift of the Estate of Margaret L. Denno
Ownership and History In 1887, Hugh O'Neill, an immigrant from Ireland, built his block-long dry goods store on Sixth Avenue in New York City. The impressive structure was four stories high, with a cast iron front and domed turrets. By the 1890s, the store employed 2,500 people. The building still stands as of 2013, serving as a condominium apartment building.

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.
Earliest Date 1887
Latest Date 1915
Material Paper/Bamboo
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Catalog Number 80.013.0087
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Fan Association of North America (FANA), 2013. (
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.