Trade Card or Label for Textiles with Putti, Ships and a Loom

Eisen, Charles (b.1720, d.1778)
Previously attributed to:
Saint-Aubin, Gabriel-Jacques de (b.1724, d.1780)
c 1752 {nd}
Dated in relation to the Metropolitan Museum etching, see Related documents.
Place of Production:
Paris?, France
etching on paper
Type of Object:
labels (identifying artifacts)
trade cards
Accession number:
One of a set, see others


Brief Description

Possible label for textiles, after Gabriel-Jacques de Saint-Aubin, the design was previously attributed tentatively to Charles Eisen. The image is etched. The design consists of a representation of textile goods, labour and transportation, and a drapery that may have been intended for the insertion of shipping details. The whole is surrounded by a double rule.

The scene is composed around an architectural rocaille arch standing on the top of a flight of stairs. Clouds and a sunburst appear in the sky. The arch is decorated with fluting, leaf scrolls and cable moulding. Two cornice sections appear at the top and on the right-hand side of the arch. Foliage grows from the top of the arch. A piece of drapery is hung over the left-hand side.

A bank of clouds floats at the top of the arch; the drapery hangs beneath the clouds down to the ground. Four naked winged putti frolic on the clouds; one of them holds a piece of inscribed paper. They play around a semi-naked reclining Fame; she holds two trumpets, blowing through one of them. A further putto lies on the drape on the left.

Another putto stands in front of the arch on the left, he looks up to a flying putto dressed as Mercury, a representation of Commerce. Two more putti sit in the left foreground. They examine a bolt of patterned silk, and recline on packages. Two more bolts of cloth appear at lower centre. At lower right, a running putto looks up towards Fame; he carries a bolt of cloth rolled around a wooden spindle over his shoulder.

In the right background, there is a depiction of a putto working a weaving loom. To the left background, there is a marine view with two ships, a large galleon and a smaller cutter. Further ships' masts are visible through the right-hand side of the arch.

Curatorial Commentary

Thedesign reproduces in reverse a trade card by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. On the New York Met trade card see Perrin Stein in Related documents.

See 3686.1.61.112 for a similar design used as a label for textile transportation, and 3686.1.24.38 for related imagery of Mercury and Fame on a textile label.

Phillippa Plock, 2008

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
91 x 131
Physical Details:
single sheet, image size: 91 x 131 (sheet trimmed to or within plate mark)


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
Waddesdon, The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust)
Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957


Related literature

Colin B. Bailey, Kim de Beaumont, Perrin Stein; Gabriel de Saint-Aubin 1724-1780; New York; The Frick Collection, Somogy Editions d'Art, Musée du Louvre; 2007. p. 218, fig. 1, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, 'Trade Card for a Merchant', 1752 etching, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
Émile Dacier; Gabriel de Saint-Aubin; 2; Paris; Editions G. vna Oest; 1929. p. 151, no. 381, describes the version of the design that is in reverse of 3686.1.77.152, with details of text: gabriel de St aubin en Bavière 1752, etching, image size: 84 x 120 mm. Describes two, one with a date from the 1740s. The existence of a state with the merchant's name was not known by Dacier. In the Bibliothèque de Lyon there is a copy of the 1740s card with a pencil inscription on the drapery, probably in the hand of the artist, 'Au comerce'. For further details see E. Dacier "l'Oeuvre gravé", no. 6 and pl. III.

Indexed terms

Other details