“The envelope was the last she ever closed by the simple method of stubbing the seal with her finger. The paper bore no mark and no address, simply a date in February 1802.
Next time she wrote to her friends – but not to the curate – her note paper was headed “Tavistock Place,” and the seal upon the envelope wasn’t a finger, but the clear imprint of Cupid riding an ass.”
~ from “Mary Anne” by Daphne Du MaurierCupid Wax Seal Charms
Now, I have many antique wax seals depicting Cupid… Cupid riding a lion, Cupid on the back of the devil, Cupid with his quiver of arrows, Cupid running away with someones heart, Cupid shooting his arrow, Cupid Carrying a torch, Cupid choosing a heart, Cupid contemplating, Cupid without wings, Cupid on top of the world, Cupid making mischief, Cupid climbing a ladder “no pain, no gain,” Cupids on a see saw “such is life” and more!
But Cupid riding an ass? Really? Well, sure enough, it does exist!
I looked it up in Mr. William Tassie’s Extensive Collection of Wax Seal Impressions and there it is, #398 CUPID riding on an Ass, surrounded by the words “These are my Subjects” and not coincidentally, this is the theme of “Mary Anne” in a nutshell!
And now, I begin my search/quest for the fob seal with Cupid riding an ass… I must have one of my own!
The above passage was taken from “Mary Anne” by Daphne Du Maurier and copyright in 1954. The novel is a fictionalized account of the real life story of her great-great-grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke who lived from 1763 – 1827.
A master storyteller from Cornwall, England, Daphne wrote 15 novels, most of which became best-sellers and several of her works became successful Alfred Hitchcock films. She was born in London in 1907 and died in her beloved Cornwall in 1989.
She was brilliant!