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Object Name Fan
Date 1880s
Description Folding fan. Paper leaf with chromolithographed scene of men, women, and children watching a puppet show; printed inscription at top in the form of a posted sign on the wall next to the stage: "[ ]RO MECCANICO / [ ]STA SERA 3 grandi / RAPPRESENTAZIONI / PULCINELLA 1 / CAVALLERIZZA A PIEDI / AMMAZZA TUTTI / E DIVENTA RE SENZA / REGNO / PREZZI / Primi posti C. 10 / Secondi " " 5 / N.B. 11 [remainder is illegible]". Large red flowers at left edge. Reverse side of leaf has wood sticks. Pencil mark on guardstick is illegible. Riveted at bottom, with metal loop. Probably made in Italy.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, European, New York)

Acquisition Gift of Mrs. A.E. Simonson
Ownership and History With a printed paper leaf and simple wood sticks, this fan was probably an inexpensive trinket rather than a luxury item. The Italian inscription refers to "Pulcinella," the character known to Americans as Punch of "Punch and Judy" puppet shows. The inscription also includes the phrase "ammazza tutti," meaning "kill all," suggesting the often violent humor of Punch and Judy shows.

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 1880
Latest Date 1890
Material Paper/Wood
Subjects Puppet shows
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Simonson, David F.
Simonson, T. Irving
Catalog Number A31.0062
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.