Rare antique 19th century French gilt bronze or brass wax seal set. 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 10 changeable matrices or wax seal tiles, with 9 of which are double-sided, giving you a choice of 19 different images and phrases to choose from. A rare find to your wax seal collection or to make wax seal jewelry and pendants using silver clay. In good overall condition with general wear commensurate with use and age. The wax seal measures 2 1/2" length x 5/8" wide. Housed in the original presentation box, note the box has come away at the seam.
Initials IG in bold Gothic/Old English script.
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.
A three part leaf with the word Brisez (Break)
The image of an anchor, cross and heart symbolizing faith, love and hope.
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.
An image of a straight razor, or lancet, with the arching phrase 'Use me well, I will never cut you'.
Mardi / Tuesday
Vendredi / Friday
Dimanche / Sunday
The opposite side:
First tile is blank. However, this is great to get engraved with your own personal initials.
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 in time 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 and 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.
An image of clasped hands below the word: Amitié / Friendship. Symbolizing the strong bond between friends.
The phraise 'Plus deuil que joie' / More mourning than joy.
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.
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.
An image of two riders racing horses, neck and neck, with the French word "Lequel?" or "Which one?" A wonderful allegory for the close calls that we are all forced to make in our professional and personal lives.
An image of a tree trunk covered in ivy. With the phrase 'Je meur ou Je m'attache' / 'I cling or I die'. With out 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.