Wood engraving of a “Au Roy de Siam” sign.

[Première moitié du XVIIIe siècle]

(260 x 140 mm), printed in bistre on fibrous paper; traces of glue on verso appear on recto.

Attractive ephemeral woodcut depicting a store sign “Au Roy de Siam”, topped by the CM mark adorned with a fleur-de-lys. The type of paper used suggests that it may be wrapping paper.

The sign depicted could be that of Thomas Joachim Hébert (1678-1773), one of the most important Parisian mercier merchants of the time, supplying the royal family through the administration of the Menus-Plaisirs and the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne.
He made a major contribution to the development of the Parisian mercantile trade in the first half of the 18th century. [...] Hébert enjoyed the privilege of being a “marchand suivant la cour”, meaning he could sell his wares in Versailles, in the lower galleries and staircases of the château. He ran his store on rue Saint-Honoré until 1750, when he was replaced by the merchant Lazare Duvaux (circa 1703-1758) (1)."
Thomas Joachim Hébert's sign is known today only from a letter written by Voltaire (2).

(1) Vincent Bastien, commentaire biographique sur Hébert consultable sur le site agorha.inha.fr
(2)« Lettre de Voltaire à l’abbé Moussinot, le 5 juin 1737 », Les Vraies Lettres de Voltaire à l’abbé Moussinot, 1875, p. 47
La Fabrique du luxe : les marchands merciers parisiens au XVIIIe siècle, 2019, p. 64-71.

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