A rare illustrated fan, made for the Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition, held in Prague in 1895, represents the fair with traditional Czech and other Slavic architecture, exhibited at the event. The back of the fan is decorated with a patriotic poem Z minulosti v budoucnost (From the Past to the Future) by a Czech poet Svatopluk Čech (1846 – 1908)
Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition, was organized by the Czechoslavic Ethnographical Society, founded in 1893 in Prague and was an important step in the pan-Slavic movement and in the self-esteem of the Slavic nations inside the Austro-Hungary. It was also the first exhibition, where Czechs, at the time inhabitants of Austria, presented Slovaks, who’s land was a part of Hungary, as their brothers.
Many of the items from the exhibition became a foundation of the Ethnographical Museum, which opened in 1904.
Pan-Slavism was a movement, which developed in Europe in the mid 19th century and called for the unity of the Slavic Peoples, which at the time mostly lived in political formations, such as Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empires. In the early 20th century the movement resulted in new countries, such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
The fan is very rare. We could trace a similar fan, but without the poem on the back at an auction a decade ago, but are otherwise not aware of any other examples.