Trade Card of Johann Jacob Morell, probably a Cloth Dealer, before Lettering

Artist or maker:
Nilson, Johann Esaias (b.1721, d.1788)
Engraved by Gottlieb Crusius (German, b.1730, d.1804)
1750-1770 {nd}
Dated stylistically.
Place of Production:
Augsburg, Germany
etching on paper
Type of Object:
trade cards
proofs before letters
Accession number:
One of a set, see others


Brief Description

Trade card of Johann Jacob Morell, probably a cloth dealer, in Augsburg, before lettering, designed by Johann Esaias Nilson, and etched by G. L. Crusius (Gottleib). The image is etched. The design consists of a representation of goods and an allusion to Morell's business.

The design appears as a vignette. The right side is framed by a tree branch that transforms at its base into a loose cartouche of C-scrolls, surrounding a small blank oval. The lower edge is formed from a thin S-scroll, a central cartouche, bearing a coat of arms, made of C-scroll acanthus leaves and some rocaille forms, and further C-scroll acanthus leaves. The coat of arms bears the heraldic motif of: parted per fess, in chief, parted per pale, sinister argent with a head of a black child, dexter or with a head of a black child, in base, azure with a head of a black child. Crusius' name appears beneath this edge at lower right.

Set in the foreground of a flat landscape extending back to the rising sun, there are several figures and goods. On the left, there is a standing woman dressed in fluttering classical robes, and holding Mercury's caduceus in her right hand. She gestures down to a winged putto rolling on the ground holding the end of a cloth bolt, and two account books, one standing open, propped against the tree. She stands for Commerce. Two further putti gambol around the textile bolt at lower right. The bolt is draped over two boxes, on which also stands a stork. Behind, there is a beehive, a symbol of Industry, and further low trees.

Curatorial Commentary

The paper is difficult to identify with certainty, it is possibly laid paper.

Waddesdon owns the final state of the print (3686.4.14.24), which has Nilson's initials and role in the card (J. E. N. del.), as well as the addition of Johann Morell's name, address and monogram, the latter on the cartouche at lower left.

Nilson was a member of several art academies. The National Gallery of Scotland owns a print for the New Coffee House, which may be an advertisement for a café.

Phillippa Plock, 2008

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
124 x 175
Physical Details:
single sheet, plate mark size: 110 x 162, image size: 90 x 124 (oval image)
Signature & Date
signed in the plate, lower right: G.L. Crusius Sc.
G.L. Crusius Sc
G.L. Crusius carved [etched this].


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

Indexed terms

Other details

Location of Premises:
see 3686.4.14.24
Trades (Original Language):
marchand d'étoffes/Textile activities
Textilkaufmann/Textile activities