01.

Mushroom Handle Brass Early 18thc French Town Desk Stamp

Seal Detail

An interesting turned wood and brass desk stamp, the handle of turned wood of mushroom form with tapering stem.  The handle appears to have been somewhat crudely carved at some historic time, maybe to make the stem into more of a taper than was originally given.  However, this adds a certain degree of charm to the piece rather than a distraction. The handle also displays signs of prolonged use and wear and over time, has earned a crack to one side, more likely as not derived from heat changes.  The oval brass matrix with its integral collar is well engraved with a central depiction of three fleur de lys above a shield with the initials AR above a heart with a circumscription within a lined border reading:

POVDRE * DE * CHANCEAV

This is a stamp relating to an old paper mill, in the town of Chanceau, in the Cote D'Or region of central France, which historically produced powder of very high quality; to such an extent that someone of a lively disposition could be said to have had "the powder from Chanceau"!  

Seal Specification

Height 95mm

Diameter of matrix 23mmx26mm

Weight 66g