Trade Card of Jean Magoulet, Embroiderer-in-Ordinary

Artist or maker:
c 1690 {nd}
1731 {text}
Coat of arms and fashion.
Place of Production:
Paris, France
etching and engraving on paper
Type of Object:
trade cards
Accession number:
One of a set, see others


Brief Description

Trade card of Jean Magoulet, embroiderer-in-ordinary (brodeur ordinaire) to the Queen. The image is etched and the text is engraved. The upper two thirds of the card are occupied by a simply framed view of an embroidery shop interior with goods, merchants and customers. The room is shallow, with an open door to the back left of the scene, through which a balustrade, tree and sky can be glimpsed. An opaque paned window fills the right wall. There are two chairs to the left of the door; another chair is located in the right foreground.

On the back wall, a suspended taselled rope bears four pieces of embroidered cloth, from the left: a sash with a large maltese cross and dove of the Order of the Holy Spirit attached; possibly a religious vestment with a decorated Greek cross motif; a chasuble decorated with a border of scrolling foliage and a large Latin cross motif, bearing a roundel with the dove of the Holy Spirit and geometric patterns; a fringed piece of material with a fleur-de-lis motif in the corner framed by scrolling foliage.

To the right of the door is a covered table upon which are piled four small decorated prints or drawings, presumably embroidery designs. In front of the table are two customers, a lady and a gentleman, seated on high backed carved and upholstered chairs. Two male merchants, dressed in periwigs, cravats, and simple single breasted coats, stand behind the table.

The lady is to the left of the table. She is shown wearing a fontange and a low-necked silk gown decorated with a ribbon; she is sitting with her legs crossed. In her left hand she holds a print or drawing, presumably an embroidery design. The left-hand merchant looks down at the object she is holding and gesticulates towards the four others on the table. To the right of the table sits the gentleman. He is dressed in a periwig, patterned cravat, embroidered knee length single breasted coat, and boots. A sword protudes from his jacket. With his right hand he holds the end of a jacket held out to him by the right-hand merchant. He inspects some embroidery around the coat pocket.

In the lower third of the card the text appears to the right and left of a thin double-ruled roundel, lower centre, bearing the simplified coat of arms of Maria Theresa of Spain, the wife of Louis XIV, as parted per pale, first, the arms of France; second, the simplified arms of Castile and Leon; third, on an escutcheon of pretence, the simplified arms of Portugal. The shield is surmounted by a simple scrolled leaf mantling and a crown. The shield is held up by two adolescent, clothed and winged angels who sit on clouds.

Curatorial Commentary

With this advert, Magoulet flattered his female clientele by showing a lady choosing the designs for her husband’s clothes. He also appealed to men with a hot new fashion item that appeared around 1685: the waistcoat. An opened overcoat could now reveal the costliest embroidery underneath: Magoulet promised his customers the most luxurious threads of gold (or), silver (argent) and silk (soye or soie). In the background, there are items of clothing worn by bishops and priests.

The angels suggest the card dates to after the death of Maria Theresa in 1683. The arms of France are depicted with the correct heraldic tinctures, whilst those on the sinister side are not. Only two of the shields that feature on the sinister side of Maria Theresa's arms are depicted. The address on the card was in use by Magoulet in 1731 (Joan Dejean, correspondence, July 2016).

The woman's sitting position, with legs crossed, lends a very relaxed, informal air to the scene. Her attire appears to be 'en déshabillé négligé' (negligent undress) a style that began to appear around 1693. It was illustrated by Jean Dieu de Saint-Jean in 1693, in an engraving. The woman in the print also has her legs crossed. This style brought casual clothing and postures associated with private spaces into the public domain. Joan DeJean has linked this new style to the growing presence of women seamstresses in the fashion industry who were forbidden from making formal court dresses which remained the preserve of the tailors, see Related documents.

The interior has allusions to a domestic interior, making it reminiscent of Abraham Bosse's prints of commerce, such as the "Shoe-Seller", but the line of goods hanging on the back wall gives the impression of a commercial interior. Research by Joan DeJean indicates that this image does represent shop interiors of the time. Her research has found that Magoulet was made brodeur ordinaire de la reine on 24 December 1677 and that he dealt in unusually large sums, which fits the image he constructed for his shop. His son and granddaughters spent time in prison (correspondence, July 2013).

Phillippa Plock, 2016

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
255 x 214
Physical Details:
single sheet, image and text size: 252 x 210 (sheet trimmed to or within plate mark)
[illegible text]
on verso evident lower right, pen and ink
IEAN MAGOULET Brodeur Ordinaire de Seüe la Rene / Demeurant Rue St Benoist à l'hôtel de Bruxelle, porte de l'abaye St. / Germain des prez, fait et vend toutes sortes de Broderies / en Or, Argent et Soye tant pour Hommes et Femmes que pour meubles et Esquipages des plus a la mode. A Paris
Jean Magoulet, embroiderer-in-ordinary to [Her Majesty?] the Queen. Living in the rue Saint-Benoît at the Brussels hotel, at the gate of the abbey of Saint-Germain des Près, makes and sells all sorts of embroidery in gold, silver and silk, as much for men and women as for furniture and the most fashionable coaches. In Paris


Owned by Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur (b.1822, d.1893); included in sale of Destailleur's library, Damascène Morgand (b.1840, d.1898), Paris, 13 April 1891, part of lot no. 351, 'Recueil d'Adresses, Cartes de visite, Billets de Bal, Brevets Militaires, etc. En un vol. in-fol., velin. Recueil des plus importants comprennant 355 pieces, adresses, billets d'invitation, titres de livres, brevets militaries, assignats, etc. Adresses au nombre de 220 des XVIIe, XVIIIe siècles' (price paid for volume: 2,700 FF); acquired by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898); inherited by his sister Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1957.
Part of:
Recueil d'adresses: A collection of sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century French, German, Belgian, Swiss, Dutch, Italian and Spanish trade cards, labels, wrappers, advertisements and related commercial ephemera bound in four volumes. 3686.1-4
Exhibition History:
'All That Glitters: Shopping and Advertising in Eighteenth-Century Paris', Waddesdon Manor, 2008
Waddesdon, The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust)
Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957



Damascène Morgand; b.1840, d.1898; Catalogue des livres rares et precieux composant la Bibliothèque de M. Hippolyte Destailleur; 1891; Paris; p. 90, no. 351.
Maxine Berg, Selling Consumption in the Eighteenth Century: Advertising and the Trade Card in Britain and France, Cultural and Social History, 4, 2007, 145-170; Helen Clifford; pp. 157-58, fig. 3.
Phillippa Plock, Now showing: the Waddesdon Manor trade cards, online and in the frame, The Ephemerist: Journal of the Ephemera Society, 141, 2008, 22-28; pp. 27-28, fig. 11.
Joan DeJean, Shops of Gold: Advertising Luxury in Seventeenth-Century Paris, Luxury, 1, 2014, 23-46; pp. 37-38, fig. 7.
Joan DeJean; How Paris became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City; Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (London); 2014; pp. 158-61, ill.

Related literature

Joan DeJean; Man of Mode: Watteau and the Gendering of Genre Painting; Philip Conisbee, French Genre Painting in the Eighteenth Century, New Haven, National Gallery of Art, 2007; 39-47. p. 43, on the fashion of negligent undress and the fashion prints of Jean Dieu de Saint-Jean

Indexed terms

People as Subject:
Magoulet, Jean (active c 1677-1731)
Maria Theresa of France (b.1638, d.1683)
Provenance Person:
Rothschild, James de (b.1878, d.1957)
Destailleur, Gabriel-Hippolyte (b.1822, d.1893)
Morgand, Damascène (b.1840, d.1898)
Rothschild, Baron Ferdinand de (b.1839, d.1898)
Rothschild, Alice de (b.1847, d.1922)
Research Keywords:
Men as Proprietors/Consumption
Decorative Arts
Men as Consumers/Consumption
Social Networks
Variety of Products/Consumption
Women as Consumers/Consumption
Christian Culture
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Crosses
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Leaf Motifs/Acanthus Motifs
Work & Occupations/Industrial & Crafts/Embroiderer
Work & Occupations/Trade & Commercial/Merchant
Work & Occupations/Industrial & Crafts/Manufacturing
Work & Occupations/Social Rank/Middling Classes
Work & Occupations/Social Rank/Nobility
Objects/Shop Goods
Heraldry/Coat of Arms
Everyday Life/Shopping
Religion/Biblical Figures & Saints/Holy Spirit
Religion/Biblical Figures & Saints/Angel
Work & Occupations/People Working
Nature, Landscape & The Elements/Gardens
Nature, Landscape & The Elements/Trees & Plants
Nature, Landscape & The Elements/Clouds
Heraldry/Heraldic Devices
Work & Occupations/Governance & Public Administration/Monarchs
Work & Occupations/Maritime & Military/Knights of the Royal Orders
Objects/Religious & Ceremonial/Crown
Objects/Visual Arts/Needlework and Embroidery
Objects/Visual Arts/Drawing
Objects/Clothing & Personal Effects/Waistcoat
Objects/Armour & Weaponry/Shield
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Flower Motifs/Fleurs-de-lis
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Geometric Patterns
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Scroll Motifs
Place as Subject:
Paris, France
Genre Subjects

Other details

Location of Premises:
rue Saint-Benoît, Paris
(à l’hôtel de Bruxelle, porte de l’abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Pres)
Trades (Original Language):
brodeur/Textile activities