Rare antique 19th century French bronze or brass wax seal set, sceau etui, with multiple matrices. Dating to the 1820s-1830s Bourbon Restoration Era, Louis XVIII-Charles X period, and would have been a treasure from the Palais Royal in Paris. Richly decorated with a motif of stylized foliage, flowers, and blank medallion cartouches. The top of the handle pulls out to expose a hidden slide drawer. Containing 13 double-sided changeable matrices or wax seal tiles, offering a good selection of 26 to choose from. They consist of various little images, mottos, phrases, words of wisdom and messages written mostly in French. A rare find to add to your wax seal collection. And perfect to use in the making of trending wax seal jewelry and pendants, stamping the seals in silver clay. In good overall antique condition with general wear commensurate with use and age. The wax seal etui measures 2 1/2" length x 5/8" wide.
The matrix tiles measure 5/16" x 3/8" and include the following:
A pictorial of a bird in a nest, a pelican or seagull perhaps, feeding her chicks, with the phrase Pour les miens (for mine)
An image of cupid surrounded by the phrase 'L'amitié est l'amour sans aile' / Friendship is love without his wings. Based on the poem penned by Lord Byron, December 29, 1806.
The phrase 'Plus deuil que joie' / More mourning than joy.
An image of a straight razor, or lancet, with the arching phrase 'Use me well, I will never cut you'.
A lovely depiction of a hunting dog, a spaniel or setter by a pond.
The quote 'Je suis libre' / 'I am free' above an image depicting a running horse free of his rider. With the potent symbolism of the equestrian horse throwing off the rider, the message is clear: Liberation. There is a great relief in being released from burden.
The word Sempre in Gothic script, Italian meaning ‘Always’.
An image of a running gray hound dog with a letter in its mouth, followed by the phrase Je suis pressé / I am in a hurry. The racing dog acts as courier for an important message.
Depicting an open birdcage with a song bird flying away and the French motto: 'Qui me Neglige, me Perd' / Who Neglects me, loses me. A stern reminder to care for and nourish the things in life that matter to you.
An image of two riders racing horses, neck and neck, with the French word "Lequel?" / "Which one?" A wonderful allegory for the close calls that we are all forced to make in our professional and personal lives.
Featuring an image of the devil. Complete with horns, a tail and holding a pitch fork, he is depicted carrying away Cupid on his back. This tile is sometimes accompanied by the French words Le Diable Emporte L’Amour / The Devil with Love. Symbolizing the more popular phrase in modern culture ‘To Hell with Love!’
An image of a tree trunk covered in ivy. With the phrase 'Je meur ou Je m'attache' / 'I cling or I die'. Without the tree, the ivy would die, so the message to the reader is 'without you I cannot survive', or 'I depend on you'. Ivy symbolizes fidelity, strong attachment, and everlasting friendship.
Depicting a proud and faithful greyhound dog, sitting next to a monument on which sits an hourglass. Surrounded by the sentiment 'Le temps passe l'amitie reste' / Time passes by but the friendship remains.
This matrix represents the unbreakable bond of a long, loyal friendship. In heraldry, the image of a dog often symbolizes courage, vigilance and loyalty. And what better animal to represent loyalty and friendship than a dog, faithful even after death. Hence the title of man's best friend.
The opposite sides:
An image of a full heart with the phrase 'Je ne suis pas gai si tu es triste' / I am not happy if you are sad. This is a sweet sentiment of the bond that connects us to the ones we love. When you hurt, I hurt.
Depicting a moth flying into the flame of a candle with the inscription "Delusion" above it. Like a moth to a flame, this clever image conveys a very direct message, illustrating how we can be irresistibly and dangerously attracted to something or someone. The word moth was used in the 17th century to mean someone who was apt to be tempted by something that would lead to their downfall.
The image of an anchor, cross and heart symbolizing faith, love and hope.
A depiction of a fox and stork, the stork with his beak in a tall vessel, surrounded with the phrase: 'Chacun son tour' / Each in turn. From the Fables de La Fontaine (le renard et la cigogne). The fable goes that the fox invited the stork to dine with him; and served the meal in a shallow dish which he could easily lap up; however, the stork could not eat because of her long beak. The stork in turn, invited the fox to dinner; and served the delicious meal within a tall slender jar to accommodate only her beak; however, impossible for the fox to reach with his short muzzle. The message: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The phrase ‘La mort n'est rien, l'oubli ç'est tout’ / Death is nothing, forgetfulness is everything.
Pictured is a Swallow with the French inscription "Le Froid Me Chasse" / "Coldness drives me away".
A burning oil lamp with Je Meurs si L'on M'oublie / I die if I am forgotten.
A depiction of a cliff side battered by a tempestuous storm with the phrase, Calm au sein des orages / Calm in the midst of the storm. A reminder to stay calm even when life gets rocky.
A pictorial from the Aesop fable The Lion and The Mouse, with the phrase Avec Le Temps / With Time. The fable goes that the mouse accidentally came upon the sleeping lion, and in her fright, she became caught in his paws. She pleaded with the lion to let her go, and she would one day repay him for his kindness. The amused lion released this tiny meal. However, weeks later, the lion was caught in a trap, bound in rope. The mouse, walking by, saw the lion in his sad plight and gnawed the rope, reminding the lion of her promise. The moral of the story is that small kindnesses lead to great deeds, and strong friendships that will reward you in times of need. There is no being so small that they cannot be of great help.
Days of the week:
Mardi / Tuesday
Mercredi / Wednesday
Vendredi / Friday
Samedi / Saturday