The Last House of Fans, Paris

by Michael Eddy

Calling all Costume and Props Designers and Artisans, here’s the last house of fans, Maison Duvelleroy in Paris. There are a lot of beautiful fans and fan ephemera (Be sure to check out document, The Language of Fans) to inspire your designs. Messy Nessy Chic has a great video of this shop that’s preserving and reviving the art of fans. The company is still in existence after 190 years thanks to the discovery of the original company’s archives that had been preserved in an attic for decades. Maison Duvelleroy crafted fans for Queen Victoria and the Empress of Russia. 

From the Messy Nessy Chic website:
There was once a secret language used by women for centuries to communicate unspoken sentiments across the room. It was the code of duchesses and ladies-in-waiting; women who made bi-weekly trips to the opera armed with an exquisite accessory that with a simple flick of her wrist, could declare her true feelings for a gentleman sat across the audience – all the while shielding the entire exchange from the husband seated beside her. For this delicate instrument of seduction, a graceful extension of a woman’s arm that seems to have been replaced by smartphones and selfie sticks, one might assume its creators belong to a long-lost world. But on a narrow backstreet in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower, one house is keeping that romance alive…

For the rest of the story and for a lot of beautiful photos of fans, go to their website:
Furhter information from Maison Duvelleroy: