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Henri Mirande

Henri Mirande

1935? Jean de La Fontaine.  Nine landscape format postcards by Henri Mirande.  "Etendard" Petrole and "Touriste" Essence Spéciale.  E. D. Paris.  €8 each from Dominique Delage, St. Ouen, August, '13.  Then eight cards from the same series but as "Edition de Montre Zenith," including both LM and "Le Milan et le Rossignol."

I am surprised that I have not before run into any members of this strong set of cards.  Of the six listed in French Wikipédia, only "Le Milan et le Rossignol" is not included among these nine.  Might it have been a set of ten?  The artistry is strong on caricature, and the style might best be characterized as "cartoon."  Each image makes room for the handwritten fable or important portions of it.  Fables are visually transposed, where necessary, into human terms.  Thus the tale of the two mules becomes that of the rich man robbed, while the poor man is untouched.  A rich judge holds moneybags where the one contestant has empty pockets and the other wears a nightshirt.  A policeman chases the shadow of the gunman who is behind him.  A rustic man leaves the groaning table behind but, like the weasel, cannot exit by the door through which he entered.  A dinner jacket is not enough to get a street person into a high-society party (BF).  A paraplegic rolls on ahead of a wrecked car (TH).  A child cannot reach the dried raisins on the shelf.  Is that a doctor carting off all the possessions of the man sick in bed?  These cards are highly enjoyable!  Are they really advertisements for gasoline?  Now, with the second set, I have eleven different cards and wonder how many may have been in the set originally.  The back of the Zenith cards transforms the first lines of La Fontaine's FC and has a design of the crow holding a Zenith watch in his beak.