Cupid Wax Seals and Daphne Du Maurier… “Mary Anne”

“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!

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