Curious and Unusual 1865 American Civil War Paper Hand Fan

Regular price $75.00

I purchased this fan from my favorite rare book seller, not knowing quite what to make of it, but finding it quite an interesting, unusual and striking looking thing. I am not enough of a Civil War expert to unpack it, but I am pretty certain the choice of blue ink for the printing connects it the Union, while the serpent at the center of the fan represents the Confederacy. It seems possible, with numbers 1-7 along the left side, that it makes reference to the Seven Days Battles, during which Union armies took Richmond and drove the Confederates further south, but I'm really not sure. It seems to me the scene depicted includes a Native American in canoe coming to assist in the defeat of the serpent, while a bird attacks another figure from above, and a pair engage in a duel at far right. Handwritten on the reverse side of the fan is the date July 29, 1865, and the inscription "from H.H to J.E.G." On the front in the name J.E. Gibson, inked on the wood at far right, a "3 Cents,"which surely was the cost of it.

11 7/8" from top left corner to top right, 6 3/8" from top edge to bottom of handle. Good condition with a few tears and light wear as documented--see detailed photos.