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Trade Card of Charles L'Hermitte, Surgical Instrument Maker, A l'M Couronée

Artist or maker:
Unknown
Date:
1700-1725 {nd}
Dated stylistically.
Place of Production:
France
Medium:
engraving on paper
Type of Object:
engravings
trade cards
Accession number:
3686.1.20.32
One of a set, see others

Commentary

Brief Description

Trade card of Charles L'Hermitte, surgical instrument maker, At the Crowned M. The image and text both appear to be engraved. The design consists of a representation of goods and the shop sign.

A rectangular frame delineated by a series of thin parallel lines on the inner and outer edge runs around the four sides of the card. The middle of the upper edge is formed into the shape of a shallow arch. At each corner of the frame is an acanthus leaf. In the middle of each edge is a motif of an acanthus leaf framed by small leaf scrolls. The upper edge of the frame contains the name of the shop sign.

In the centre of the frame is a round cartouche inside of which can be seen a variety of tools. From left to right: ophthalmic scalpel or tracheotomy knife; amputation saw; amputation knife; dental chisel; probably a surgical knife; vaginal speculum; possibly a bit for a trepanning brace; surgical scissors; trepanning brace with alternative bit.

Above this cartouche, there is another smaller oval cartouche composed of acanthus leaf S-scrolls. This cartouche surrounds the 'M' of the shop sign. This cartouche is surmounted by a crown decorated with fleurs-de-lis, which is supported by two flying male putti, nude apart from a sash, one on each side. A scalpel hovers to the left and right of each putti.

The main roundel is supported by two sprigs bound by ribbons of leaves, berries and flowers. These curl up either side of the main roundel.

Below the roundel is a further framed oval, joined to the main roundel by a fleuron. The frame of this oval is composed of a series of thin parallel lines, flanked by an acanthus leaf on each side, which curl down to join at another fleuron. Inside this oval is, from left, an ophthalmic scalpel or tracheotomy knife; an amputation knife; and cataract or general surgical scissors.

Sprouting out from the top of this oval, on each side, are fans of rope or chains, possibly chatelaines, to which are attached more tools. On the left-hand side are two scalpels or lancets; surgical scissors; and two surgical knives. On the right-hand side is a scalpel or lancet; several surgical knives; a dental chisel; and surgical scissors.

Below this oval is a sinuous line: the upper edge of a cartouche demarcating the textual area of the card. This line is devised of a thick band shaded with vertical thin lines, and a semi-circle and dot pattern protruding from each edge. A fleuron is placed in the middle of the line, which touches the fleuron suspended from the lower oval.

At each end of the line there is half a sunflower. The beginnings of material drapes are visible, hanging from these flowers. Below the line is the name of the instrument maker.

Curatorial Commentary

Identification of the tools made by Jane Rees, Tools & Trades History Society.

The arrangement of the card is similar to that of Michel, cutler (coutelier - marchand et maître), Paris, rue du Petit Lion Saint-Sauveur, A L'Enseigne Du Couteau; size of image and text: 160 x 121. The image includes instruments arranged within a frame. The text lists the goods: coutellerie chinoise, razoirs, instruments de chiurgie. See Victoria and Albert Museum, Prints and Drawings Department, 28803.A.

It is evident that the card has been trimmed; a portion of the card, presumably containing text, has been removed; and a section of card illustrating the lower edge of the overall frame has been pasted to align with the sides of the frame.

Some cutlers' trade cards are reproduced by Camille Pagé, see Related Documents, I have been unable to check this source.

Phillippa Plock, 2008

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
165 x 126
Physical Details:
single sheet, image size: 158 x 119 (sheet trimmed to or within plate mark)
Transcription:
A L'M COURONNÉE / CHARLES L'HERMITTE / M
Translation:
At the Crowned M. Charles l'Hermitte
Language:
French

History

Provenance:
Acquired by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898) before 1897; 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
Collection:
Waddesdon, The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust)
Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957

Bibliography

Related literature

Camille Pagé; La coutellerie depuis l'origine jusqu'à nos jours; 6 vols; Châtellerault; Impr. H. Rivière; 1896-1904

Indexed terms

Other details

Shop Sign:
M Couronnée, A l'
Trades (Original Language):
fabricant d'instruments de chirurgie/Machinery & equipment activities
coutelier/Metalwork activities
Products:
CHIRURGIE
DE
INSTRUMENTS
LANCETTES
SCALPELS
DE
TREPAN
TRÉPAN
VILEBREQUINS
CHIRURGICAUX
CISEAUX
CATARACTES
CISEAUX
DES
AMPUTATION
COUTEAUX
D
OPHTHALMIQUES
SCALPELS
COUTEAUX
DE
TRACHEOTOMIE
TRACHÉOTOMIE
CISEAUX
DENTAIRES
AMPUTATION
D
SCIES
SPECULUMS
SPÉCULUMS
VAGINALS