Founded in Paris in 1827 by Jean-Pierre DUVELLEROY,
The House of DUVELLEROY was born out of one man’s ultimate dream: to bring fans back into the hands of elegant women.
A sumptuous ball given by the Duchess de Berry would make his dreams come true: one dance and fans were back. This was the kick off for the House of DUVELLEROY.
Soon enough, DUVELLEROY’s delicately crafted fans became a symbol of the French fan-making style. The House was awarded numerous medals at the Universal Exhibits.
During the 19th century, DUVELLEROY opened a boutique in Paris at the prestigious address of 15 Rue de la Paix as well as an affiliate in London on Bond Street in Mayfair.
The ‘Rive Droite’ (Right Bank) sophistication and home-base of DUVELLEROY has continued throughout the House’s different addresses in Paris, right up until the 1980s.
Official supplier to several prominent female royals, starting with Queen Victoria in Great Britain, DUVELLEROY created the fans given to the spouses of foreign statesmen during their official visits to France, including the Empress of Austria, the Queen of Sweden, the Queen of Denmark and the Queen of Bulgaria.
The DUVELLEROY House also created Eugénie de Montijo’s fan for her wedding to Napoleon III, as well as the white ostrich feather fan worn by the Queen of Egypt at her wedding in 1938.
Although the habit of wearing fans in the West has declined since the end of WW II, the House of DUVELLEROY has thrived, solely due to the passion of its inheritor, who managed to conserve the pleating moulds, vintage fans, sketches for sticks, guards and leaves with the conviction to “make something out of it one day”.
While waiting to see this sleeping beauty awaken anew, he contributed to the curation of several exhibits, one of which was held at the Paris Galliera Fashion Museum in 1985; he has also participated in numerous publications about DUVELLEROY.
Faithful to the tradition of French fan-making, DUVELLEROY appealed to the know- how of more than ten artisans to shape its creations. Engravers, pleaters and embroiderers are involved in the manufacturing of these precious objects. A fan-maker, one of the last in France, assembles every fan by hand. Each DUVELLEROY fan is signed by the House’s emblem, a golden daisy.
The leaf’s ennoblement belongs to gold-fingered craftsmen who patiently apply the gold paint and embroider the sequins with the finest thread. Rigorous and passionate, they allow only the most impeccable leaves out of the workshop.
Raw materials of horn, ebony and mother of pearl are cut to obtain layers only 9/10 mm thick, and which are then cut into the shape of the frame. The losses are significant, but this is the indispensable and painstaking method necessary to obtain frames of 14 sticks that lose nothing of their lightness.
This requirement is the characteristic trademark of the French fan-makers.
Once cut, the frame is entrusted to the fan-maker who then finishes each stick by lowering its head, polishing the material and hand-engraving the patterns on the ebony or mother of pearl. The sticks and guards are then fastened together by a rivet.
Fragile when they are alone, but once assembled these sticks are ready to span centuries.