The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
This object is currently being catalogued
  • Tablets
  • This object is currently being catalogued
  • Gabriel Raoul Morel (active between: 1798 - c. 1827)
  • Paris, France
  • c. 1822
  • Gold and turtleshell piqué work, ivory, paper, wood and graphite
  • Overall size: 9 x 6.4 x 1 cm
    Weight: 87.7 g
  • Maker's mark: Diamond enclosing the initials 'G R M'
    Mark: A bear's head Or boar's head
    Warranty mark: Restricted, 1819 - 1838, Paris
  • W303
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
History
Images & Media
  • Beautifully mounted in varicoloured gold – red, green and yellow – this almanac comprises two piqué panels framed and mounted with a double-hinged gold spine. A gold propelling pencil passes through six hoops of gold along the open edge, forming at the same time a secure closing mechanism and a pencil holder. Inside are a printed calendar and several pages for notes. It would have formed a supremely elegant accessory, slim and light enough for slipping into a gentleman’s pocket.
    Like other goldsmiths of the Restoration period, Gabriel-Raoul Morel appears to have specialised in remounting earlier pieces. It would seem probable that the turtleshell panels here date from the late eighteenth century and that Morel re-used them for this almanac. The piqué decoration comprises a trophy surmounted by two birds, a flaming heart and a wreath, bordered by strapwork, gold and foliage. The marks on the goldsmith’s work indicate that it cannot have been made before 1819, nor after 1832, the year in which Morel ceased working, and the inclusion of a calendar inside of 1822 suggests the probable date of manufacture.