Lot n° 176
300 - 400
MÉRIMÉE Prosper (1803-1870).
P.A.S. "Pr Mérimée", co-signed by 6 other members of the Committee of Arts and Monuments, [14 January 1850]; 2 pages in-fol., headed University of France.
Report on the subject of the exemption from hallmarking of precious gold and silver objects.
"All gold or silver materials exhibited at public sale are subject to hallmarking for legal control, before being delivered to the buyers. Only medals are excepted from this provision; on the other hand, it reaches all the jewels, statuettes, bas-reliefs &a which enter the museums or the private collections, not for their intrinsic value, but for their merit from the point of view of the art. It is conceivable that when these objects are of delicate workmanship, the punch cannot be applied without deforming them more or less. It should be noted that the control is required each time an object appears in public sale, so that after a certain number of sales, the most precious object can have lost all its value. [...] There is no exception for antique jewels, which are so rare and precious, and it is a subordinate employee who is not an artist, let alone an archaeologist, who designates the place where the imprint will be applied. [...] Would it not be possible by a more favorable interpretation to extend to art objects the exception granted to medals"...
Also signed: Amédée de Pastoret, president of the Committee of Arts and Monuments, Adolphe-Napoléon Didron, secretary, Jean-Baptiste Lassus, Ferdinand de Lasteyrie, François Génin and Ferdinand de Guilhermy.
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