Rare antique 19th century French gilt bronze or brass wax seal set. 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, rocailles and blank medallion cartouches. One side features the figure of a cherub or putti, the other side with a love birds and a sitting dog. The top of the handle pulls out to expose a hidden slide out drawer. Containing 14 double-sided changeable matrices or wax seal tiles, offering a good selection of 28 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. Perfect to use in the making of trending wax seal jewelry and pendants, stamping the seals in silver clay. In good overall condition with general wear commensurate with use and age. The wax seal etui measures 2 1/2" length.
The matrix tiles measure 5/16" x 3/8" and include the following:
Depicting a withering rose surrounded by the phrase "Flétrie Avant Le Temps" / Withered with time.
Depicting 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 jar to accommodate only her beak; however impossible for the fox to reach. The message: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Pictured is a Swallow with the French inscription "Le Froid Me Chasse", "coldness drives me away".
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.
The phrase ‘La mort n'est rien, l'oubli ç'est tout’ / Death is nothing, forgetfulness is everything.
An image of an envelope with the phrase "Allez heureuse" / "Go happy".
A three part leaf with the word Brisez (Break)
A burning oil lamp with Je Meurs si L'on M'oublie (I die if I am forgotten)
Lundi / Monday
Mercredi / Wednesday
Vendredi / Friday
Samedi / Saturday
Dimanche / Sunday
The opposite side:
With an image of a pocket watch, surrounded by the phrase ‘Calme dehors, Agitée au dedans’/ Calm on the outside, Agitated within.
Bearing the sad tidings of "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'.
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 the rider, the message is clear: Liberation. There is a great relief in being released from burden.
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.
A lovely depiction of a hunting dog, a spaniel or setter by a pond.
An image of a sail boat in rough seas with the French caption "Telle est la Vie" / Such is Life. An acceptance of the unpredictable fortunes of existence, take the good with the bad.
An image of clasped hands below the word: Amitié / Friendship. Symbolizing the strong bond between friends.
The word Sempre in Gothic script, Italian meaning Always.
A pictorial of a formidable dog, a bulldog breed perhaps, with the motto 'Ami fidele, Ennemi implacable / "Faithful friend, Relentless adversary". A reminder that loyalty and trust make for a strong lasting friendship, but people have a breaking point. A good friend will stand by you, but friendships can turn into disaster when trust and loyalty are broken.
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 usually accompanied with the French phrase Le Diable Emporte L’Amour / The Devil with Love, or more popularly The 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 of courage, vigilance and loyalty. And what better animal to represent loyalty and friendship than a dog, faithful to its owner even after death? Hence the title of man's best friend.
An image of a running gray hound dog, followed by the phrase Va vite/ Go quickly. Conveying the urgency of an important message.