Bill-head and Bill of Sale for Le Normand and Company, Silk Merchants, Au Grand Turc

Artist or maker:
1781 {manuscript date}
Place of Production:
Paris, France
etching and engraving on paper
Type of Object:
bills of sale
Accession number:
One of a set, see others


Brief Description

Bill-head and bill of sale for Le Normand and Company, silk merchants (marchands d'etoffes de soie), At the Great Turk, dated in manuscript 1781. The image is etched and the text engraved. With extant bill. The design consists of a representation of the shop sign above the text.

The text takes up the lower half of the design. It is not framed. The upper half of the design is taken up by the representation of the shop sign. Framed by a cartouche, the Turkish Sultan sits on a high backed throne. He is visible from the knees up. His head is turned to the left; he has a beard. He wears a turban decorated with a crescent and a feather, and a fur-trimmed robe held in place by a simple oval brooch at his chest. He holds a sceptre terminating in a crescent and a piece of material. To his left and right are two sailing ships; the flag of the ship on the left unfurls over the edge of the cartouche.

The loose oblong cartouche is composed of several elements. The upper edge is formed from two C-scroll acanthus leaves, flanking a rocaille form, which become mouldings that bend at right angles to form the upper corners. These mouldings are shaded with parallel lines. The upper corners are mounted with bombé shapes and have pendants made from two crossed C-scrolls and foliate forms. The whole of the upper section of the cartouche is edged on the inside with parallel line shading. Rings depend from the lower sides of the corner sections. The rigging of the ships pass through these rings.

The sides and lower corners of the cartouche are made from two wide acanthus C-scrolls with a central bead. Garlands of laurel leaves follow the curve of the scrolls on their inside edge. There is parallel line shading between the C-scrolls and garlands. Over the lower corners project, on the left, a flag with a crescent, on the right, an anchor and cannon.

The central section of the lower edge of the cartouche is made up of a gadrooned ledge with triangular dentils. A banner, bearing the name of the shop sign, hangs across the ledge; its ends unfurl out at lower left and right. Further garlands of foliage pass behind the enthroned Sultan and depend to left and right of the ledge.

Curatorial Commentary

For an earlier example of the card see 3686.2.39.98.

The title 'The Great Turk' was given by Christian rulers to the Ottoman Emperors from the time of Mehmed II on (d. 1481).

Phillippa Plock, 2008

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
238 x 162
Physical Details:
single sheet, plate mark size: 167 x 149, image and text size: 158 x 144
5 fevrier 1781 / Fourny a Madame de Fresnes / 10 blanc 2 noirs } 12 taffetas Double / florence 5-10
centre centre to lower right, pen and ink

[pen and ink text]
on verso, visible through sheet at lower left
Translation of inscription:
5 February 1781. Supplied to Madame de Fresnes. 10 white 2 black} 12 double Florentine taffetas 5-10
AU GRAND TURC. / Le Normand et Compagnie Marchands de toutes sortes d'étoffes de Soie,/ d'or et d'argent, et Meubles, / Rue St. Honoré, / au coin des frondeurs, vis-à-vis la rue de l'Échelle. / A PARIS CE
At the Great Turk. Le Normand and Company, merchants for all sorts of textiles in silk, gold, silver and for furniture. Rue Saint-Honoré, at the corner of the rue des Frondeurs, opposite the rue de l'Échelle. In Paris 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



Katie Scott, The Waddesdon Manor Trade Cards: More than one history, Journal of Design History, 23, 2004, 91-104; p. 103, n. 27
Natacha Coquery; L'Hôtel Aristocratique: Le marché du luxe à Paris au XVIII siècle; Paris; Publications de la Sorbonne; 1998; p. 297; illustrates an example of the card dated in manuscript as 1780
Carolyn Sargentson; Merchants and luxury markets: the marchands merciers of eighteenth-century Paris; London; Victoria and Albert Museum; 1996; p. 101, pl. 60; illustrates an example from the Archives Nationales, Paris, Conti papers

Related literature

Natacha Coquery; L'Hôtel Aristocratique: Le marché du luxe à Paris au XVIII siècle; Paris; Publications de la Sorbonne; 1998. pp. 77, 88, 89, 92, 99, 105, 129, 154, 164, 176, on Le Normand et Compagnie who supplied Coigny, Fleury, Fitz-James and La Tremoille families from 1772-1787

Indexed terms

Other details

Location of Premises:
rue Saint-Honoré, Paris
(au coin des rue des Frondeurs, vis-à-vis la rue de l'Échelle)
Shop Sign:
Grand Turc, Au
Trades (Original Language):
marchand de soie/Textile activities
marchand d'étoffes/Textile activities
marchand de meubles/Furnishing activities