1920? French cookie or candy tin featuring an illustration on its top of "The Cat and the Monkey." 9¼" x 8" x 2¾". 120 Francs at the Clignancourt flea market, Aug., '99. Extra exemplar for $20 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.
The monkey shows a great eye as he glances towards us, while the cat is intent only on pulling the chestnuts out of the fire. To enjoy a close-up view of that monkey's eye, click on the box-image or here. Around the oval-shaped illustration are red and green jewel representations in a gold and red floral design. Similar designs repeat on the sides of the tin. It pays to ask dealers in French flea market booths if they have any fable materials! The same dealer also had a set of beautiful figures from Rabier's edition (and even done by Rabier?) baut alas at a price I found way beyond me….
1930? WG syrup tin, featuring "The Fox and the Rooster." 5¼" x 4" x 2¼" high. $10 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.
This tin is surprising first of all for its delicate form. It has three curved sides, two rounded edges, and two angled edges. Secondly, it is hard for me to believe that this sort of container was used for a liquid like syrup. The "WJ" on the bottom is clear. Less clear is a name something like "W'Jnants Groenendael Freres." The top shows a fox and rooster confronting each other. The long sides repeat a scene of the two chasing around a tree. The short sides offer two French quatrains. The fox and rooster are, respectively, on the angled corners. Poor condition.
1930? French circular bonbon tin. "Les Fables de Lafontaine: Le Renard & Le Corbeau." La Pierette. Bonbons Surfins. 7" in diameter. $7 from Anna Benichou, Strasbourg, through Luz Pintos, Carolina, PR, May, '01.
The fox already has the crow's cheese in his mouth on the cover of this bonbon tin. The cover represents an expanded version of a circular card I have, also from Surfins. It is on display with two other Surfin cards; click here to see it. About half an inch is cut from the circumference of this illustration to make that one. This tin is in fair to good condition.
1930? Damoiseau cookie tin featuring illustrations on its top and sides of La Fontaine's fables. $27.11 from Jim's Things, London, through Ebay, May, '00. Extra exemplar for 170 Francs from Helen Moncourt, along the Seine, April, '97.
Ms. Moncourt had urged me to come back in a few days, saying that she had some things from her childhood that she could offer me. What a happy surprise to be offered this tin! A number of stories are illustrated in cartoon fashion: FC, MM, "The Heron," WL, OF, GA, TMCM, and TH. I was happy then to see the tin show up on Ebay, and Jim of "Jim's Things" could not believe that I had found his tin! Smart sellers and auctions probably tend to end up around the same place. I notice that this price three years later in England is within twenty Francs of that price then
1950? Cote D'Or chocolates tin. 4.3" x 3.5" and 3.1" high. GA. $10 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.
This canister is in fair condition. The cover presents the basic scene of cicada singing and ant working. The small side panels show each doing his respective thing. On one large side panel, the cicada dances while the ant carries an egg as big as his own body. On the other, the shivering cicada comes to the ant, whose negative feelings are as bristly as the broom he carries.
1960? Belgian Cote d'Or chocolate tin. 4¼" x 3½" x 3¼" high. FC. $15 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, April, '01.
This blue tin presents FC well. On the cover is the decisive scene of the fox flattering and bowing. Just below is the scene, visible here, just prior to that moment, for here the crow is landing, and the alert fox takes notice of his arrival with the cheese. On the short side to the right the crow sings. On the longer side the fox, with cheese in paw, lectures the crow. On the last short side, the dejected crow weeps. The tin is in good condition. Dany tells me that this tin is hard to find.
1970? Belgian Fablio bubble gum tin. "Fables de Jean de la Fontaine." 10" x 6½" x 2½" high. $10 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.
The cover features an opening book with "Fables de Jean de la Fontaine" on the cover and a small figure with something in his hand. Inside the front cover one finds "fablio Bubble Gum Milou" and on the rim "Milou--Bubble Gum--Bobbie." Around the sides are apparently colored stills from an animated cartoon alternating with black-and-red cartoon figures. Several of the images are of frogs. Good condition. Dany lists this item as a biscuit tin.
1980? Rena French cake tin. Copyright Images d'Epinal. 7" x 5" x 3½" high. $6 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, August, '00.
This cake tin suggests that it would make a good gift. It features four Epinal fable scenes: FC on the top and "The Fox and the Goat," "The Fox and the Cock," and "The Sick Lion and the Fox" around the sides. It shows plenty of rust and a bad long scratch across the top. Dany tells me that it is hard to find.
1980? Delacre French cookie tub. "Fables de La Fontaine." 7" x 6" x 6" high. $15 from Dany Wolfs, Roesalare, Belgium, April, '01.
Here again is FC, dramatically presented in five cartoon panels around this oval tin. The title of this fable stands over the first two panels. Each panel is accompanied by two to five lines of La Fontaine's text. The crow is dressed in tuxedo and high silk hat and carries a cane. The fox is in a jaunty country outfit with a large feather--and two ear-holes--in his cap.