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Object Name Fan
Date ca. 1880-1900
Description Folding fan. Black fabric leaf, silk or polished cotton, with hand-painted lavender flowers and gold scrolls, and sequins sewn on. Wood sticks painted black with incised and stamped decoration in gold; gold floral and scroll decoration on the guardsticks. Riveted at bottom, with metal loop. Probably made in France, but could possibly have been made in the United States. Fan is in its original paper-covered box.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Floral, European, Victorian, New York)
Acquisition Gift of Katherine Seaman and Juliet Trench
Ownership and History The painted flowers on this fan appear to be violets, a symbol of modesty. While black was certainly fashionable during this era for a variety of occasions, it is possible that this fan was used by a woman who was in mourning.

This fan is part of a group of fans that belonged to Miss Emily J. Benham of Greenridge, Staten Island. It was donated to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1943 by two of her nieces.
Earliest Date 1880
Latest Date 1900
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Seaman, Katherine S.
Trench, Juliet Benham (Seaman)
Benham, Emily J.
Catalog Number C02.0389
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.