Shelby County, Indiana
The Shelbyville News
While almost every woman gets an urge to collect something or other sometime
during her lifetime, not too many ever get around to seriously pursuing the
hobby along one line, much less three.
Saturday February 28, 1948
By Ave Lewis
But Miss Josephine Morrison, of 730 South Harrison Street, has three
widely varied collections which she combines into one hobby. She collects
brooches, with emphases placed on cameos, Wedgewood boxes and fans.
At the present time she is concentrating on the collection of fans since she
can exhibit them more easily. Too, her accumulation of brooches, numbering 500
she now considers too valuable to keep about for public display. And Wedgewood
boxes are extremely rare. The two brooches of which she is exceptionally proud
are a cameo depicting Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and a bust of the
founder of the Armour Packing Company.
Her fan collection stemmed from a suggestion made by her sister,
George Torrance who also has a hobby of collecting odd and rare buttons—a
few years ago when the brooch collection was reaching the
"keep-in-the-lock-box" stage, Miss Morrison already had a minor start
since she had kept four beautiful fans which were presented her in 1912 as high
school graduation gifts.
She finds that such a collection doesn’t involve much "work" and
all the 300 fans she has have been given to her. The collection of brooches and
Wedgewood boxes involve innumerable visits to stores, "snooping" in
small out-of-the-way shops and delving into family histories.
While almost every conceivable variety of fan is included in the lot, which
she keeps carefully and individually wrapped, there are many which seem to
breathe stories of the past at the touch of the hand. There is one picked up on
a beach of Japan during the height of World War II and sent here by an American
sailor; a tiny white brise fan (brise fans are those laced together with ribbon)
carried by a Troy, Ohio bride many many years ago; a lovely white feather fan
which was found in a deteriorated home which also housed beautiful costumes of a
family once immensely wealthy, and one from Singapore which was made from animal
skin with intricate cut-out work apparently depicting some sort of pagan god.
Perhaps the most colorful fan in the lot is a large one of old rose ostrich
feathers. She was presented this by Mrs. Fred Catt, of Arlington.
been brought to Mrs. Catt from Paris shortly following the first World War and
while Miss Morrison has no way of knowing the exact age of some of the articles,
one, of brown linen with ornately carved ivory frames given to her by her
brother-in-law, George Torrance, she knows to be almost 100 years old. It
was a keepsake of the Torrance family.
Other particularly interesting fans in the collection to this reporter, Miss
Morrison holds each in the same esteem it seems—was one which opened to form a
calendar for the year 1901; one of the sandlewood which retains the faint
invigorating odor of the wood, and one of feathers and tortoise shell brought
from England by the late Mrs. Charles Major.
Other countries represented in the lot are China, Germany, Cuba, Java,
Greece, Mexico and Haiti. In addition to the actual fans, Miss Morrison has
innumerable objects with a fan motif, handkerchiefs, pins, etc. She says her
collection prove a boon to her friends, they know what to give her for
Christmas, birthdays, et cetera. And she loves them all!
Contributed by Barb Huff
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