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Leopold Verger Small

1890? 11 French cards of La Fontaine fables, nine marked as coming from Léopold Verger & Cie in Paris. 2" x 3½". $30 from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne-Ricouart, France, March, '01.

These small portrait-formatted cards run a brown framing stripe around a colored illustration. The stripe also frames a few lines from the fable below, sometimes proceeded by the fable's title and sometimes concluding with a reference to La Fontaine and the specific fable. Small italic black print at the top of the illustration gives its French title. Small numerals in the lower right or left may identify a series or a date (e.g., "2 12" and "& 10"). There is also a small signature "LV&C" on many cards. The cards are very similar to those in the set from Chocolat Grondard. Some scenes end up looking quite humorous, like the milkmaid with an elaborate urn on top of her head! The illustration for "The Battle of the Weasels and the Rats" is well done; it suggests the general battle, the holes, and those who could not enter them. Eight of the eleven cards advertise on the back Planteur de Caiffa, apparently a chain of grocery stores. Two advertise "A Saint-Pierre," which seems to sell clothes, hats, and even furniture. The last advertises Pastilles Lucan, which are good for rheumatism and throat problems.

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"L'Astrologue qui se laisse tomber dans un Puits"

"La Chauve-Souris & les deux Belettes" (marked B: perhaps 1 of 2?)

AD

"Le Combat des Rats et des Belettes"

"Le Lion & le Moucheron"

MM

"L'Oeil du Maitre"

"Le Savetier & le Financier"

TMCM

UP

"Le Vieillard & l'Ane"