Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name Fan
Date 1850-1870
Description Brise fan. Ivory sticks are joined at top by a cream color silk ribbon. One guardstick has hand-carved lilies of the valley that stand out in relief. The other guardstick has the engraved monogram "HM". Riveted at bottom, Fan has an attached string with tassel and a fabric loop that slips over the sticks to keep the fan closed. Made in Germany or Switzerland.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Floral, European, Victorian, New York)
Acquisition Gift of Misses Anna and Florence Meyer
Ownership and History This fan features hand-carved lily of the valley flowers on one guardstick. The attributes most often associated with this flower are humility, sweetness, and a return of happiness. One legend of the lily of the valley is that it sprang from Eve's tears when she was banished from the Garden of Eden.

Fine ivory carving of this type is often associated with Germany or Swizerland; it is sometimes called Dieppe style carving due to its development in the French town of Dieppe.

This fan belonged to the Meyer family, whose lavish estate in the Fort Wadsworth area of Staten Island became the Mount Manresa Jesuit retreat house.
Earliest Date 1850
Latest Date 1870
Material Ivory
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Associated People Meyer, Louis H.
Catalog Number C02.1394
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.