FAN MANUFACTURE. The manufac ture of ladies' fans is a larger department of industry than many persons would suppose. After a considerable interval, during which fans were little used, they have lately come again into favour ; and the manufacture is conducted in France on a considerable scale. The firm of M. Duvelleroy at Paris are pre paring some magnificent specimens for the Great Exhibition. From an account of that establishment recently given in the Exposi tor,'we learn that M. Duvelleroy has prepared a whole set of fans displaying the stories of the ' Arabian Nights,' intended by the Grand Sultan as presents for the ladies of his harem; they are to be submitted to the lady of the Turkish Ambassador at Paris, before being transmitted to Constantinople. M. Duvelleroy manufactures fans for the courts not only of European countries, but for those even of Africa and Asia. It is said that we shall have submitted to our inspection at the Exhibition fan now being made for the Emperor of Morocco, at a cost of more than 10001. An other is now in progress for the Empress of Russia.
From the source above referred to we ga ther some curious details concerning the fan manufacture. Fans were known in the East from remote ages ; but they are not supposed to have been introduced into western Europe until the time of the crusaders. About the Nth century fans came into very general use; generally made by fixing peacock or ostrich feathers in a handle of gold, silver, or ivory. As early as 1522 the fan manufacturers formed one of the industrial guilds of Paris. In the time of Louis XIV. the Jesuits who returned from China brought over specimens of the Chinese folding-fan, which at once superseded the former shape. When the Edict of Nantes drove so many artisans out of France, fan makers were among the number; they came to England, where the trade became esta blished on a firm footing. Just a century after wards, the French Revolution crushed the re mains of the manufacture in France, and England became the chief emporium of fans. At the termination of the war the manufacture revived in France; and so congenial is it to the taste of that nation, that France now al most entirely monopolises the manufacture, very few fans being made in England.
It is said that Duvelleroy employs 2000 persons—a statement scarcely credible ; he has made it a point to grasp the two extremes of the scale in costliness as well as all inter mediate degrees, for he makes fans from one halfpenny each to one thousand guineas.
Every halfpenny fan goes through no less than fifteen hands : a proof that the factory system must be thoroughlycarried out in that establishment. Duvelleroy's fans are sent to all parts of the world, and are now competing in the East with those of China. Spain is try ing to maintain a home manufacture, but all the best specimens come from Paris. America affords the best markets, for while the ladies of North America closely imitate the fashions of Paris, those of South and tropical America are passionately fond of gorgeous fans, on which the most exciting scenes are painted in the most dazzling colours. Duvelleroy has a large corps of intelligent artists, who study the peculiar tastes of every nation in respect to pictures and colours.
In the manufacture of fans, the chief parts are called the handle, the brins, the panaches, the end, and the leaf. The handle is the part at which all the rest of the fan is hinged toge ther, and which is made of ivory, wood, or any hard material. The brins, or radiants, from twelve to twenty-four in number, radiate from the handle ; they are about four incises long. The ends are elastic pieces which connect the brims with the handle, and which form with them the skeleton of the fan ; they are made of mother-o'-pearl, tortoise-shell, ivory, horn, ebony, bone, citron-wood, sandal-wood, or plain wood, and are rivetted with diamonds, gold, pearls, or more cheap material, according to the price. The panaches are the two outer most brims, made wider and stronger than the rest for security. The leaf is the surface of the fan, cut into the form of the segment of a circle. It is made of paper, of cabretille (very delicate kid-skin), vellum, parchment, satin, tulle, gauze, or crepe, according to circum stances. There are as many folds or plaits given to this leaf as there are brins ; and the brins govern the opening and closing of the leaf.
It is in the painting and decorating of the leaf that the costliness of the best fans chiefly consists. Duvelleroy has a number of highly paid and accomplished artists engaged in this department.
The Chinese workmen are not permitted by the Emperor, it is said, to send goods to Eng land for the approaching Exhibition ; but M. Duvelleroy is about to send some choice speci mens of Chinese fans, as well as others of his own manufacture.