Trade Card of Jean Le Quin the Elder, later the Widow Le Quin, and later Antoine Colin, Goldsmith and Jeweller, Aux Agneaux d'Or

Artist or maker:
c 1765 {nd}
Based on active dates of Colin and death of Jean Le Quin, see Nocq in Related documentation.
Place of Production:
Paris, France
engraving on paper
Type of Object:
trade cards
Accession number:
One of a set, see others


Brief Description

Trade card of Le Quin l'Ainé, later Madame Le Quin l'Ainé, widow of Le Quin l'Ainé, and later Colin Le Quin, their nephew and successor to Madame Le Quin l'Ainé, merchant goldsmith and jewellers (marchand orfevre joaillier) At the Golden Lambs. The text and image are both engraved. The design consists of a representation of the shop sign and a depiction of goods.

The card shows a plinth with curved sides and a cornice with a cavetto moulding decorated with a repeated pattern of three vertical lines. A laurel festoon hangs from two rings attached to the far right and left underside of the cornice moulding.

On the front of the plinth is a plaque bearing the shop sign and the text. The lower sides of the plinth are framed by two acanthus leaf scrolls which form symmetrical S-scrolls along the lower edge and meet at lower centre around a husk motif. These scrolls intertwine with a double rule which cups the husk motif. This decorative lower edge bears no real relation to the bottom of the plinth, which is not depicted.

On top of the plinth rests a large cartouche formed with C-scrolls, S-scrolls in a strapwork style, and two acanthus leaf scrolls placed on the sides. In the middle of each flanking section is an area of monotone checker pattern. Two palm fronds cross below the cartouche. At the upper centre of the cartouche is a young man’s face. A scallop shell surmounts the cartouche, with a piece of coral, a file, and a tuning fork, projecting out of it. Inside the cartouche is a landscape view of grass, sky and three lambs, two standing over one sitting.

On top of the plinth, to the left and right of the cartouche, are a number of metalwork objects. To the left of the cartouche, from left: a dish; a case; a helmet-shaped ewer decorated with quatrefoils, a cross, and gadrooning; a salt; a candlestick; a beaker. To the right of the cartouche, from left: a sugar caster; a candlestick; a helmet-shaped ewer decorated with a double chevron zigzag motif and squares, and gadrooning; a dish; possibly a sugar bowl.

To the left and the right of the plinth, two shell cornucopias curve down. More goods spill forth from the openings, including: on the left, trinket or patch boxes, a buckle, a seal, a cross, a man’s head, rings and a bracelet; and on the right, little boxes, teaspoons, a cross, and possibly the end of an umbrella. More goods appear at the top of the print suspended from ribbons attached to the scallop shell including: necklaces with cross and face-shaped pendants; buckles; rings; a pommel; and earrings.

The ribbons are tied in bows at upper left and right and are fixed to a ring on the left, and a knob on the right. Plaited ribbons hang down from these fixtures. The background is distinguished by horizontal ruled thin lines.

Curatorial Commentary

The helmet-shaped ewers and the sugar caster accord with examples dating to the 1710s. This suggests the design may have been re-used throughout the eighteenth century.

Buckles, rings and pendants hang from ribbons above the shop sign. The ribbon device may relate to the presentation of goods on temporary displays, often composed of textiles, set outside the shop known as the étalage. The distinctive ewers date the card to the year when Le Quin became a master goldsmith. Despite this attention to fashion, the Le Quin family did not change their trade card to keep up with changing tastes. This design was used by Jean’s widow and then by her nephew, Antoine Colin, after Jean’s death.

This card is an interesting example of how businesses passed from one family member to another.

There is another version of this card in the British Museum Banks Collection, 133.111. The image is in reverse, the sheep are all standing up and feeding, and the print is clearer. This print also only has Quin's name, indicating it is earlier than the Waddesdon example. Size of image: 254 x 176.

Phillippa Plock, 2008

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
350 x 210
Physical Details:
single sheet, plate mark size: 275 x 195, image size: 253 x 175
Colin Neveu / Successeur De Madame
centre, pen and ink
Translation of inscription:
Colin nephew, successor to Madame
AUX AGNEAUX D'OR / LE QUIN L'Ainé / Marchand Orfevre Joiallier [sic] / demeure sur le Quay neuf proche la / Grêve, Fait vend et achepte toutes sortes / d'ouvrages d'Or et d'argent Bijoux Pierreries, / achepte aussi toutes sortes de galons d'Or & / d'Argent brulé et non brulé, le tout à juste prix, / A PARIS
At the Golden Lambs. Le Quin Senior. Gold merchant, gem-work jeweller, residing on the Quai Neuf near the Grêve, makes, sells and buys all sorts of work in gold and silver, jewellery, precious stones, also buys all sorts of gold and silver brocade, burnished or not, all at fair prices. 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
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957



Henry Nocq; Le Poinçon de Paris. Répertoire des maîtres-orfèvres de la juridiction de Paris depuis le moyen-âge jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe siècle; 5 vols; Paris; H Floury; 1926-1931; vol. 2, p. 377; illustrates a version of the card, with same design but a different address: ‘le Quay Pelletier pres la Grève’ for Colin, 'neveu Successeur de Madame Le Quin l’aîné', from collection of M. Henri Vever, (see p. 442)
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

Related literature

Jacques Hillairet; Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris; Paris; Éditions de Minuit; 1963. see Location of premises
Carolyn Sargentson; Merchants and luxury markets: the marchands merciers of eighteenth-century Paris; London; Victoria and Albert Museum; 1996. pp. 128-29, on the étalage
Henry Nocq; Le Poinçon de Paris. Répertoire des maîtres-orfèvres de la juridiction de Paris depuis le moyen-âge jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe siècle; 5 vols; Paris; H Floury; 1926-1931. vol. 2, pp. 375-6: on Jean Le Quin active 1713-d. 1758, in 1758, at Aux Agneaux d’Or. 1758 – Veuve Jean Lequin. Marie-Thérèse Colin and Antoine Colin were apprenticed to Jean Le Quin at the time of his death, they were his nieces and nephews. See for a description of their apartment at the time of Jean’s death. On the possible apprentice Antoine-Michel Colin, see vol. 1, p. 284.
Carl Hernmarck; The Art of the European Silversmith 1430 - 1830; 2 vols; London; Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc; 1977. on styles of metalwork

Indexed terms

People as Subject:
Colin, Antoine (active c 1760)
Le Quin l'aîné, Jean (d.1758)
Le Quin, La Veuve (active c 1758)
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
Women as Owners/Consumption
Variety of Products/Consumption
Decorative Arts
Baroque Style
Value of Products/Consumption
Christian Culture
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Leaf Motifs/Acanthus Motifs
Work & Occupations/Industrial & Crafts/Goldsmith
Objects/Shop Goods
Nature, Landscape & The Elements/Countryside
Work & Occupations/Trade & Commercial/Second-hand Dealer
Work & Occupations/Trade & Commercial/Merchant
Nature, Landscape & The Elements/Trees & Plants
Work & Occupations/Trade & Commercial/Jeweller
Objects/Religious & Ceremonial/Crucifix
Objects/Clothing & Personal Effects/Jewellery
Objects/Vessels & Containers/Jug or Ewer
Objects/Vessels & Containers/Plate
Objects/Cooking & Eating/Tableware
Objects/Vessels & Containers/Saltcellar
Objects/Vessels & Containers/Box
Objects/Clothing & Personal Effects/Snuffbox
Objects/Cooking & Eating/Cutlery
Mythology/Gods & Goddesses/Apollo
Allegory & Personifications/Abundance or Plenty
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Draperies & Ribbons
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Figural or Animal Motifs
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Flower Motifs/Festoons
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Frames, Borders, Cartouches
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Fruit, Nut or Seed Motif
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Panels, Plaques, Medallions
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Scroll Motifs
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Scroll Motifs/Strapwork
Decorative Motifs & Patterns/Shell Motifs
Place as Subject:
Paris, France
Still Life

Other details

Location of Premises:
quai Neuf, Paris
(proche la Grève), Hillairet, 1963, vol. 2, p. 176: la Grève = Place de l’hôtel de Ville
Shop Sign:
Agneaux d'Or, Aux
Trades (Original Language):
orfèvre/Metalwork activities
joaillier/Jewellery trade activities
marchand orfèvre/Metalwork activities
marchand joaillier/Jewellery trade activities
achète les vieux galons/Textile activities