Trade Card of Edme Gersaint, Jeweller, A La Pagode

Not on display

Order image © All images subject to copyright

Artist or maker

Boucher, François (b.1703, d.1770)

Engraved by Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières-Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de Caylus (French, b.1692, d.1765)


1740 {printed date}

Place of production

  • Paris, France


  • etching and engraving on paper

Type of object

  • etchings
  • trade cards

Accession number


One of a set, see others ▸

Trade card of Edme Gersaint, merchant jeweller (marchand jouaillier), At the Grotesque Chinese Figurine, designed by Bouché (François Boucher), etched and engraved by C. (Comte de Caylus), and dated 1740. The image is etched, and the text is engraved. The design consists of an area of text, a representation of the shop sign and a depiction of goods set in an interior. The whole is surrounded by a thin rule. The artists' names and date appear beneath the rule. There are extensive manuscript annotations beneath the plate mark referring to the painting dealer Le Brun, probably Jean-Baptiste-Pierre.

The text appears on a lambrequin in the top third of the card. The lambrequin is draped over the head of a figure sitting on top of a cabinet which takes up the middle third of the card. The cabinet stands on a low table. Goods are arranged to the sides and in front of the table.

The figure on top of the cabinet represents the 'pagode' of the shop sign: 'pagode' meaning porcelain ornaments of grotesque figures, sometimes with mobile heads. The figure is of an old man suffering from dwarfism, dressed in a silk jacket and trousers that are decorated with chequer patterns. He has a double goatee beard. He holds a porcelain figurine in his right hand of a figure dressed in a belted robe and a conical hat, holding a stick over its shoulder. The man looks down at the goods below.

The cabinet is inlaid with chinoiseries. On the left door, there is a scene of a house, a tree, an old man and a stork both sitting down. On the right door, there is a tree on a rocky mound and a bird flying in the sky. Each door has four hinge mounts that terminate in foliate shapes. The lock has an oval mount, with a rough scalloped edge. The cabinet stands on a low table with cabriole legs mounted with acanthus leaves.

To the left of the cabinet, there are several canvases propped up. To the right, there is is screen decorated with scrollwork, and several thin sticks terminating in human mascarons.

In front of the table, from the left, there is a small box with a lid decorated with flowers, on top of which sits a coffee pot, a tea pot with a bird's head spout, and an ornament of a bird. To the right of this, there is a scroll of wallpaper, a fan and a candle snuffer on a stand.

To the right, there is a low block upon which sits a selection of shells and coral and a grotesque figurine in the form of a fat sitting figure with ass' ears. In front of the block, there is a tray with four handleless tea cups, saucers and a porcelain jar with a lid; and two closed fans.

Behind the figurine, there is a square box with a lid decorated with trees and a bird. On top of the box, there are two small oval containers, probably snuffboxes; a coffee grinder; and a figurine of a person riding a horse. In front of the box, on the block, there is what appears to be a belt, and a hand screen fan. There is another box behind, holding a collection of sticks, possibly pokers.


Curatorial commentary

  • Edme Gersaint took over Antoine Dieu's shop 'Au Grand Monarque' (see 3686.1.27.45) on the Petit Pont in 1718. He later moved to premises on the Pont Notre-Dame, and changed the name of the shop to 'A La Pagode', which is when this card was made, see Glorieux in Documentation.
  • The design was used in a trompe-l'oeil painting on the front of a cabinet (Akero Manor, Sweden) by Olof Fridsberg, see Gruber in Related Documentation. It was also used as a frontispiece for the "Livre-Journal" of Lazare Duvaux published in 1873, when it was engraved in facsimile by L. Gauchenel, see Glorieux in Documentation. [IMITATION]
  • The annotation on this card suggests that it was re-used as a trade card by other art dealers, in this case possibly the dealer Jean-Baptiste Le Brun, the husband of Vigée Le Brun. This hypothesis requires more research however, as the address does not correspond with Le Brun's home address from 1775 to the mid 1790s, or the address that Le Brun occupied in 1806, see Related documents.
  • A card that uses similar imagery is in the British Museum, Banks Collection, 133.128 for the tradesman Mercier. It shows a view of a cabinet interior, with text on the side of a table, the left of which is a specimen chest of drawers, with bottles on shelves in the back, coral and shell on top of and in front of the table, with a putto on the right, image size: 82 x 110.
  • Boucher was received into the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1731.
  • Phillippa Plock, 2008
Physical description

Dimensions (mm) / weight (mg)

359 x 211

Physical details

single sheet, plate mark size: 288 x 189, image size: 285 x 185

Signature & Date

signed and dated in the plate, lower left and lower right: Dessiné par bouché [sic] A Paris 1740. C.S.


lower right, pencil (beneath 'C. S.')

Lebrun Md. De tableaux rue St Honoré, a l'hotel des / americains pres Loratoire la porte cochere a cote du / Sieur Malfurt, Md. au second sur le derrière, sa boutique / est place du vieux Louvre, vend tout ce qui concerne / l'art de peinture, sculpture, remet les vieux tableaux a neuf SC
lower left to lower right, pen and ink

Translation of inscription

Lebrun picture dealer, rue Saint-Honoré at the Hôtel des Americains near the Oratory, the coach entrance next to Sieur Malfurt, merchant, on the second floor at the back, his shop is at the Place du Vieux Louvre, sells everything relating to painting, sculpture, restores old pictures. SC


A LA PAGODE / GERSAINT Marchand Jouaillier sur le Pont Nôtre Dame / vend toute de Clainquaillerie [sic] Nouvelle et de Gout, Bijoux / Glaces, Tableaux de Cabinet, Pagodes, Vernis, et Porcelaines du Japon / Coquillages et d'autres morceaux d'Histoire Naturelle, Cailloux, Agathes, / et generalement toutes Marchandises Curieuses et Etrangeres. / Dessiné par bouché [sic] A Paris 1740. C.S.


At the Grotesque Chinese Figurine, Gersaint gem-work jewellery merchant on the Pont Notre Dame, sells all sorts of new and tasteful ironmongery, jewellery, mirrors, cabinet pictures, grotesque chinese figurines, glazed ware and porcelain from Japan, shells and other items of natural history, pebbles, agate, and generally all curious and foreign goods. Drawn by Boucher. In Paris 1740. C. [Caylus] carved [etched and engraved this]




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


  • Owned by Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur (b.1822, d.1893); included in sale of Destailleur's library, Damascène Morgand (b.1840, d.1898), Paris, 13 April 1891, part of lot no. 351, 'Recueil d'Adresses, Cartes de visite, Billets de Bal, Brevets Militaires, etc. En un vol. in-fol., velin. Recueil des plus importants comprennant 355 pieces, adresses, billets d'invitation, titres de livres, brevets militaries, assignats, etc. Adresses au nombre de 220 des XVIIe, XVIIIe siècles' (price paid for volume: 2,700 FF); acquired by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898); 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.


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


  • Edmond de Goncourt; La Maison d'un Artiste; Paris; G. Charpentier; 1881; vol. 2, p. 178; mentions an example of the card.
  • Édouard Fournier; Histoire des Enseignes de Paris, revue et publiée par le Bibliophile Jacob; Paris; Dentu; 1884; pp. 307-08; describes an example of the card.
  • Damascène Morgand; b.1840, d.1898; Catalogue des livres rares et precieux composant la Bibliothèque de M. Hippolyte Destailleur; 1891; Paris; p. 90, no. 351
  • Léon Maillard; Les Menus et Programmes illustrés, invitations, billets de faire part, cartes d'adresse, petites estampes, du XVIIe siècle jusqu'à nos jours; Paris; G Boudet; 1898; p. 32; describes an example of the card.
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France, Marcel Roux; Inventaire du fonds français: graveurs du dix-huitième siècle; 15 vols; Paris; Bibliothèque nationale de France; 1930-2004; vol. 4, p. 68, no. 81; describes an example of the card. Three proofs are preserved at the Bibliothèque Nationale.
  • Alain Gruber; L'art decoratif en Europe - Classique et Baroque; Paris; Citadelles & Mazenod; 1992; p. 282; illustrates an example of the print from the Bibliothèque Nationale.
  • Carolyn Sargentson; Merchants and luxury markets: the marchands merciers of eighteenth-century Paris; London; Victoria and Albert Museum; 1996; pp. 81-82, 127, pl. 47; illustrates an example from Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cabinet des Estampes.
  • Andrew McClellan, Watteau's Dealer: Gersaint and the Marketing of Art in Eighteenth-Century Paris, The Art Bulletin, 78, 1996, 439-53; pp. 447-49, ill. 12; illustrates and discusses the Bibliothèque Nationale example of the card in relation to other imagery used by Gersaint.
  • Guillaume Glorieux; A l'enseigne de Gersaint; Seyssel; Champ Vallon; 2002; pp. 264-67, ill. 87; illustrates an example from Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cabinet des Estampes.
  • Maxine Berg, Selling Consumption in the Eighteenth Century: Advertising and the Trade Card in Britain and France, Cultural and Social History, 4, 2007, 145-170; Helen Clifford; p. 163.
  • Joseph Baillio; A Fantastical Recreation of Bonnier de la Mosson's Cabinets of National History, Collection of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Compounds and Chesmistrey Laboratory by Jacques de Lajoüe (1686-1761) A Newly Rediscovered Masterpiece of the Enlightenment (privately printed article); 2008; p. 16, fig. 16; discusses an example of the card.
  • Mark Ledbury, Embracing and escaping the material: genre painting, objects and private life in eighteenth-century France, Representing Private Lives of the Enlightenment: Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 11, 2010, pp. 187-217; p. 190; describes Gersaint and the variety of his interests based on his business card - not only associated with Watteau as a picture dealer.
  • Benjamin Schmidt; Inventing Exoticism: Geography, Globalism, and Europe's Early Modern World; Philadelphia; University of Pennsylvania Press; 2015; pp. 333-34, fig. 179; in context of the aesthetic of exoticism and different notions of geography.

Related literature

  • Colin B. Bailey, Lebrun et le commerce d'art pendant le blocue continental: Patriotisme et marge bénéficiare, Revue de l'Art, 63, 1984, 35-46. on Le Brun, address in 1806 rue de Gros-Chenet
  • Angelica Goodden; The Sweetness of Life: A Biography of Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun; London; Andre Deutsch Ltd.; 1997. gives details of Le Brun's home from 1775 to mid 1790s as rue de Cléry
  • Andrew McClellan, Watteau's Dealer: Gersaint and the Marketing of Art in Eighteenth-Century Paris, The Art Bulletin, 78, 1996, 439-53. p. 452, on Le Brun
  • Jean-Baptiste Lebrun; Almanach Historique et Raisonné des Architectes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs et Ciseleurs, année 1777; Geneva; Minkoff; 1972. p. 169, mentions Le Brun as a painting dealer in the rue de Cléry
  • Alain Gruber; L'art decoratif en Europe - Classique et Baroque; Paris; Citadelles & Mazenod; 1992. pp. 282-283, illustrates the cabinet decorated with a copy of the visual part of Gersaint's trade card, and a watercolour of it en-situ also by Olof Fridsberg in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Related files

Other details

Location of premises

  • pont Notre-Dame, Paris

Shop Sign

  • Pagode, A La


  • marchand joaillier/Jewellery trade activities
  • marchand de tableaux/Fine art activities
  • joaillier/Jewellery trade activities


  • quincaillerie (ironmongery)
  • bijoux (jewellery)
  • glaces (mirrors)
  • tableaux de cabinet (cabinet paintings)
  • pagodes (Chinese porcelain grotesque figurines)
  • vernis du Japon (glazed ware from Japan)
  • porcelaines du Japon (Japanese porcelain)
  • coquillages (shells)
  • morceaux d'histoire naturelle (natural history specimens)
  • cailloux (stones)
  • agates (agates)
  • écrans à mains (hand-screens)
  • cafetières (coffee pots)
  • théières (teapots)
  • boîtes (boxes)
  • papiers pour les appartements (wallpaper for interiors)
  • éventails (fans)
  • tasses (cups)
  • tabatières (snuffboxes)
  • bâtons (batons)
  • cabinets (cabinets)
  • écrans (screens)
  • mouchettes (candle snuffers)
  • moulins à café (coffee grinders)

Subject person and role

  • Edme-François Gersaint, Advertiser
  • Jean-Baptiste Lebrun, Name as subject (trade cards)