The white banner with the golden fleur-de-lys of the House of Bourbon and the 'H' monogram refer to Henri, Comte de Chambord (1820-1883). In 1830, following the July Revolution and the abdication of his grandfather, Charles X, and his uncle,'Louis XIX', Henri became the most senior claimant of the Bourbon line to the French throne and the légitimistes' candidate for succession. After the elections of 8 February 1871, the royalists, the légitimistes and the Orléanistes were the elected majority in the National Assembly and together campaigned for a restoration of the monarchy with Henri as King. In response, Henri returned from exile to announce his manifesto that he would not rule under the Tricolour, the flag of the Revolution, and would accept the throne on the condition that the fleur-de-lys of the Ancien Régime flag was reinstated, declaring 'Henri V cannot abandon Henri IV's white flag'. This motion was rejected by the National Assembly and a temporary Third Republic was established under Adolphe Thiers, who was to rule until Henri's death, when the Orléanistes' pretender, Louis-Philippe Albert d'Orléans, Count of Paris, would inherit. By the time of Henri's death in 1883, public opinion and the majority of the National Assembly had moved away from the royalists and France remained a republic.
The outstanding quality of the goldsmith's work is reminiscent of Lucien Falize (1839-1897), who worked from 1871 to 1897 for Parisian high society. Falize and his partner Germain Brandt (1853-1921) are recorded as having created pieces to commemorate royal occasions, such as the marriage of Prince Alfred and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna and the coronation of Princess Marie as Queen of Romania. Following the death of Henri, they designed three pieces of jewellery: a brooch, a bracelet and a pin with Henri's monogram, the fleur-de-lys, and inscribed with the date and Frohsdorf, his residence near Vienna where he died (K. Purnell, Falize, A Dynasty of Jewellers, London, 1999, p. 124). These pieces were marketed towards supporters of the monarchy and members of the nobility. The inscription 'France et Rome' on this quill holder may have particular significance for the légitimistes, as it refers to their two political causes: the restoration of the monarchy in France and the Pope's temporal powers in Rome.