Rare antique 19th century French gilt 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 flowers and flourishes embellished in colorful enamel, the sides with fleur-de-lis in a checkered pattern embellished in blue and white enamel. The top of the handle pulls out to expose a hidden slide drawer. Containing 8 double-sided changeable matrices or wax seals, offering a good selection of 16 to choose from. Most of which are enhanced in a silver-gilt finish. 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 1/4" length x 3/4" wide.
The matrix tiles measure 7/16" x 3/8" and include the following:
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.
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 symbolizing the popular phrase in modern culture ‘To Hell with Love!’
A lovely depiction of a hunting dog, a spaniel or setter by a pond.
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 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.
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.
Lundi / Monday
Vendredi / Friday
The opposite side:
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.
Mardi / Tuesday
The phrase ‘La mort n'est rien, l'oubli ç'est tout’ / Death is nothing, forgetfulness is everything.
An image of a straight razor, or lancet, with the arching phrase 'Use me well, I will never cut you'.
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.
An image of an envelope with the phrase "Allez heureuse" / "Go happy".
"You have the key" above an image of a padlock.
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.