On this site this term refers to a wide range of professionals, craftsmen, service providers from the art world or market.
The word “Business” thus essentially designates entities operating at a given time and place, defined by a name (and sometimes a shop-sign or insignia), an attested address and dates; this entity may either operate in isolation or constitute an element in a series (referred to on the site as a “Firm”).
This unique term of “Business” can refer to entities of a fairly varied nature in terms of their relationship with artists, their materials, and their works. The word “Business” may include all suppliers of artists’ materials (manufacturers, makers, dealers, retailers), be they specialized (“colormen,” “paint sellers,” art or artists’ supplies dealers, etc.), or more general commercial entities dealing in specialized art products as part of their stock (department stores, grocers, stationers, fancy goods and gift shops, haberdashers, cabinetmakers, hardware stores, mirror makers, jewelers, etc.).
A “Business” also generally refers to suppliers of materials used by artists, more particularly here supports for paintings and drawings (the only supplies that can be directly identified by the “marks” on them). In some cases, they may purvey materials other than those used directly by the artist to create the artwork, such as frames.
“Business” also covers another very different category of allied trades, professionals, and service providers: companies or individual business intervening during the making of the artwork or at a later stage in its existence (restorers, reliners, gallerists, art dealers, hirers of paintings and drawings, antique dealers, framers, shippers, packers, etc.).
Collectors and their identifying inscriptions do not fall within the scope of this site. We refer to the available reference tool that covers this field (Frits Lugt, Les Marques de Collections de Dessins & d’Estampes).

Cadastre, plans

Extracts from contemporary plans and surveys from the Napoleonic period land registry or the City of Paris cadastre to allow the accurate location of stores and workshops.

Collection of marks

The “collection of marks” here refers to a section in the Catalogue of Marks corresponding to the marks and labels indicating a particular trader (or retailer), generally found on the back of frames and other supports of paintings and drawings. Our classification distinguishes between marks (in ink, burnt, stamped or embossed), designated by the suffix “M”, from labels, designated by the suffix “E”.
Cataloguing equates to classification by distinct type, each receiving a unique number with a suffix, such as “M-1”, “M-2”, or “E-1”, “E-2”, etc. Each type (vertical column on the left) is illustrated by a particularly legible specimen, ideally of known measurements, and is accompanied by the group of apparently identical specimens (horizontal row). In addition, each photograph of the mark or label is allotted a unique number in the form of “ID: 123”. To note the presence of a mark that appears to be identical to a type or specimen referenced in the Guide: cite the reference in the form “GL-Belot-M-1”, for example. To refer to a particular object or photograph: add the unique number in the form “ID: 96”, for instance.
The number assigned to each type does not necessarily equate to the chronological order of the appearance of the various marks or labels in the history of a particular commerce. We are able to classify types chronologically only in the case of collections that are already well established at the time of data entry.
Finally, the dates supplied can only be indicative, being based on comparison with a group of copies, or on the date of the work or object bearing the mark or label, whenever this date can be established. Our dating is for the marking itself, i.e., the time the stamp, mark or label was affixed. Such dating cannot be used to date an artwork (painting, drawing) or other object associated with the said mark or label, either directly (on the original support) or indirectly (on a secondary support, after restoration, on a frame or drawing mount, etc.). In many cases uncertainty remains as to the place of such marking in the chain of events preceding, coinciding with, and subsequent to the genesis of an artwork.
The suffixes employed here are: “E” (étiquette) for label; “M” for mark;  "MD" (marque deposée) for trademark; "MR" (marque en relief ou en creux) for punch, hotpunching, blind-stamping, embossing, gauffering.

Commercial articles

Photographs of commercial material other than marks and labels, such as notebooks, albums, stationery, cameras and other optical equipment, easels, paint-tubes, pastel or paint boxes, painter's and draftsman's materials, etc.


Synonyms: specimen, sample, example.
Generally on this site this term refers to each occurrence of a mark taken from the same type. In essence, though such marks are “multiples,” they all differ individually depending on the nature and relief of the support, the gestures made when applying it, the nature of the ink, the wear of the tool used, etc. Each mark on a support is in fact unique to a given artwork that will in principle be identified on this site, except for reasons of confidentiality. Cataloguing consists in classifying and simplifying these entries, grouping all recorded copies under the same “Type”.
Each copy or example, together with each image on the site, is assigned a unique and permanent identification number (or ID) in the form: “123”. In the catalogue of marks on the site each unique object consisting in a mark recorded or photographed on the back of the pictorial support or on its frame therefore possesses a catalogue number consisting in the identifier of the type and the copy: “GL-Belot-M-1” / “123”.

Dimensions (of marks)

The dimensions appearing on our data sheets indicate, in millimetres, the extreme height and then width of all inscriptions, drawings, etc. constituting a given mark, including borders, if relevant. They represent therefore the total dimensions of the ink deposited or transferred in the case of a stencil or stamp, or else of the impression made in the case of a relief, etc.