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Object Name Fan
Date 1875-1890
Description Folding fan. Cream silk leaf with hand-painted design of two hummingbirds among leaves and berries, signed "[T. or F.] Boucher." Incised mother-of-pearl sticks with applied metallic foil. Paste jewel at rivet. Metal loop with braided silk and metallic wire tassel. Made in France.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, European, Victorian, New York)
Acquisition Gift of Florence Meyer Waldo
Ownership and History This graceful fan features hummingbirds in a natural setting. The painting is of unusually high quality, attesting to the good taste and affluence of the woman who carried it.

The fan is associated with the Louis H. Meyer family, who resided on an estate known as Fox Villa in the Fort Wadsworth area of Staten Island. Mr. Meyer, a prominent businessman, was the first president of the Staten Island Savings Bank, and he and his wife Anna lavished money on their twenty-acre estate. Contemporary descriptions noted that the house had more than twenty bedrooms, and a dining room that could seat 60. He imported trees and shrubs from Europe to create romantic vistas on the property, built greenhouses for tropical fruit, and constructed a grotto where he produced Shakespearean plays.

The "signature" which appears under the painted designs on the fan may be an indication that the artist was imitating the work of Francois Boucher, a prolific 18th century painter whose work was sometimes emulated on Victorian fans.
Earliest Date 1875
Latest Date 1890
Material Silk/Mother-of-pearl
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Meyer, Louis H.
Catalog Number C02.1531
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.