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V. Spahn

1950? Fables of La Fontaine. Twenty-three (out of a series apparently of twenty-four) full-color postcards displaying favorite La Fontaine fables, with young people playing appropriate human roles. V. Spahn signs the cards. Card #17 is missing. €62 for the set from Serge Ferry at the Paris Post Card Exhibition, Jan., '05. Extra copy of #12 from Suzanne Botti, Le Bono, at the Paris Post Card Exhibition, Jan., '05. Extra copy of FK for $9.99 from Gold-Coast, Brentwood, TN, Nov., '13.

The text of the fable takes up most of the message-space on the verso of the cards. Under the picture is "Fables de la Fontaine" in Italics at he lower left and a block-print title at the lower right. The modes of translating the fables into children's life are fascinating here. The emphasis is not on simple "cuteness." The children can play the fable straight, as in "L'Huitre et les Plaideurs" and GGE. FC is thus about one child stealing a ball while another sits up a tree and watches his ball stolen. Or a child can assume an unpleasantly animalistic role, as when TMCM shows an imperious girl chasing two boys away from a table full of food. The picture opens up whole new categories of interpretation when "The Wolf Become a Shepherd" shows a child picking up play sheep on the lawn. Again, there are whole new interpretations at work when FK shows a girl in a bathing suit with a frog clinging to her shoulder. Is she queen of the frogs? A few cards perhaps hardly make sense. What does the boy falling into the water have to do with OR? The set hits a low point, I believe, when it offers a black male child wearing feathers as "Le Geai Paré des Plumes du Paon." Perhaps the cards are meant simply as fun and not to be interpreted at all. Card #15 adds a false number to its fable title: "XIV." All the cards here seem to have been sent or addressed to the same party--but never to have been mailed with a stamp.

Click on any card to see it enlarged.

1 L'Hirondelle

2 Les Deux Coqs

3 BF

4 2P

5 Coche et Mouche

6 Petit Poisson

7 MM

8 FC

9 GA

10 Savetier et Financier

11 Vieille et Servantes

12 GGE


14 MSA

15 OR

16 FK


18 Loup Devenu Berger

19 TB

20 OF

21 Deux Pigeons

22 Enfant et Miroir

23 Huitre et Plaideurs

24 Laboureur et Enfants