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Object Name Fan
Date 1840-1850
Description Folding fan (Romantic or Rococo Revival style). Narrow vellum (animal skin) leaf is hand-painted on both sides. A romantic scene on the front shows a guitarist and a seated woman in a picturesque outdoor setting. The reverse shows a seated woman in a landscape scene with sheep nearby, and leafy scrolls at either side. Drilled and hand-carved mother-of-pearl sticks with applied metallic foil (one stick is a replacement). Riveted at bottom, with metal loop. Made in France.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, European, Landscape, Pastoral Scene, Romantic, Rococo Revival, Historicism, Victorian)

Ownership and History During the mid-1800s, there was a fashion for fans that imitated the exquisite antique examples made in France a century before. Their fanciful decoration made them ideal accessories for ladies attending costume balls or theatrical entertainments. Images of musical instruments were sometimes used in fan decoration to express themes of poetic love or the courtly pleasures of European nobility. In this example, a jester appears to be serenading a young lady.
Earliest Date 1840
Latest Date 1850
Material Vellum/Mother-of-pearl
Subjects Fans
Lexicon Sub-category Personal Gear
Catalog Number C02.1831
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.