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Object Name Fan
Date ca. 1860-1890
Description Folding fan in original black lacquered box with hinged lid. Fan has a paper leaf with finely detailed and colorful hand-painted Chinese court scenes on both sides, with royal blue, bright green and red colors predominating. The figures' faces are applied ovals of painted ivory, and the clothing is composed of applied pieces of silk. Hand-painted border of flowers, vines, and geometric patterns. The ivory sticks have carved and pierced designs of people, buildings, and flowers. The guardsticks are elaborately carved with the same motifs. Paste jewel at rivet. Metal loop at rivet, with attached green string and blue and purple tassels. The box has a gold painted design of a landscape with figures, and floral and butterfly motifs. One end of the box has a paper label with a handwritten inscription in Chinese characters. The box interior has a paper-covered board cut to the shape of the closed fan. The box lid is lined with silk that has a hand-painted bird, flowers, and berries. Made in China.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Asian)
Acquisition Gift of Mary Allum (Mrs. Walter Lancelot Allum)
Ownership and History Fans of this type are sometimes referred to as Mandarin fans or Thousand Faces fans. Some were made for export to Western markets.

This fan belonged to Eme Mary Lancey Allum (1848-1900). Eme was the daughter of John Wade, an English merchant who owned clipper ships in China. He named one of his ships for his daughter; the "Eme" was built in England and launched in April 1869.

Eme married Walter Edwin Allum, and their son, Walter Lancelot Allum, was born in China in 1881. They came to the United States in the 1890s and lived on Henderson Avenue in West New Brighton, Staten Island.
Earliest Date 1860
Latest Date 1890
Material Paper/Ivory/Porcelain/Silk
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Allum, Walter Lancelot
Allum, Eme (Wade)
Catalog Number C02.0823
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.