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Object Name Fan
Date ca. 1830-1850
Description Folding fan (Romantic or Rococo Revival style). Printed and hand-colored paper leaf with scenes on both sides, showing romantic scenes of costumed figures in landscapes. Incised and machine-pierced bone sticks with metallic foil inlay. Sticks are notched along the edges, an unusual feature. Oval mirror on one guardstick, and blue and white cameo on the other guardstick. Riveted at bottom, with metal loop.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Victorian, New York)

This fan was studied by two experts who drew different conclusions about its origins. It was identified by one person as probably made in France, ca. 1830-1840. A second expert believed this to be a Spanish fan, with the leaf printed in France but painted and assembled in Spain for the Spanish market, ca. 1840-1850. He believed that the sticks may have been made in Spain as well.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Historicism, Landscape, Pastoral Scene, European, Romantic, Rococo Revival)

Acquisition Gift of Charlotte M. Keyes
Ownership and History Rococo Revival fans of the 19th century were designed to evoke the social milieu of the previous century. They typically include lithographed scenes of ladies and gentlemen in idyllic pastoral settings, engaged in leisurely or courtly pursuits - subject matter that hints at the flirtatious manner in which fans might be used.

The detailed scene on one side of this fan depicts young lovers in a pastoral setting with romantic ruins in the distance. The young man at center appears to be caught in a love triangle, perhaps explaining the jar of water poured onto his head. The scene on the other side suggests passers-by on a rural roadway near a European village.

The small mirror set into the guardstick could be used by the owner of the fan to discretely observe her own appearance or a rear view of her surroundings. This feature might be a particular asset when seated in the audience at a theatrical performance or other social affair.

This fan descended in the Carleton, Cary and Keyes families. It may have belonged to Mary Ann (Austin) Carleton (1819-1898), who was born in Manhattan, lived on Staten Island in the 1860s, and later lived in Brooklyn.
Earliest Date 1830
Latest Date 1850
Material Paper/Bone
Subjects Romances
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Keyes, Emily Shattuck (Cary)
Catalog Number 85.081.0007
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.