Rare Victorian Trick Fan ‘Éventail à dislocation’


Rare “Éventail à dislocation” Trick Fan made of brown tinted wooden sticks and pink silk ribbon and cream coloured machinemade lace arranged as interlocking panels. The fan appears normal when opened the correct way ( from left to right) and fall apart, if it is opened the wrong way (from right to left).



Origin: France

Date: ca. 1880

In 1878, a patent for this design for an Eventail à dislocation (Fall-Apart Fan) was filed in Paris by Théophile Heaulme-Fleury. It was granted in 1879 (Volet 1986, 109 & 127).

The fan is made of gold painted, brown stained wooden sticks and salmon-pink coloured silk ribbon and cream coloured machine-made lace strips. The ribbon and lace are attached alternately on pairs of sticks that make up the individual panels. The panels interlock when the fan is opened the correct way and fall apart, if it is opened the wrong way. The use of lace is very unusual, but original – perhaps it was a custom order.

Length: 13.75″ (35 cm) Width: 26.25″ (66.5 cm)

Condition: Good, working condition with a few small spots, mostly on the left side.

Literature: Volet, M. 1986. L’imagination au service de l’éventail : les brevets déposés en France au 19ème siècle. – Imagination at the service of the fan. Patents registered in France in the 19th century. Imagination and its contribution to fans. Editions Maryse Volet. Vesenaz