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Object Name Fan
Date 1850-1860
Description "Uchiwa" rigid fan (handscreen). Paper leaf is made from a Japanese print with a scene depicting figures standing in a landscape with village structures in the distance. Three rectangles inset in the scene contain inscriptions believed to be in Japanese, with Chinese characters (not yet translated). Reverse has a stamped design of blue irises with green leaves. Handle is one piece of bamboo which has been split into tiny slips to support the leaf; bamboo frame around the border of the print. Made in Japan.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Asian, New York)
Acquisition Gift of the Estate of Frank I. Smith
Ownership and History Uchiwa is the Japanese term for a rigid fan or hand screen. The paper leaf of this example is made from a Japanese print , cut down by the maker of the fan to produce the desired shape. The curve of the bamboo frame has shifted over time, causing tears to the edges of the paper.

This fan came to the Staten Island Historical Society from the estate of Frank I. Smith (1869-1951), a well-known attorney and judge on Staten Island. Smith was the son of Elizabeth W. (Marvin) Smith and Henry Clay Smith. He and his wife, Edith M. (Rorke) Smith, lived in Westerleigh, Staten Island.
Earliest Date 1850
Latest Date 1860
Material Paper/Bamboo
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Smith, Frank I.
Catalog Number C02.1616
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.