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L Agence General Standard

1890? 9 colored French cards picturing human scenes for La Fontaine's fables. Just over 4¼ " x 3 ". Titles are printed in block letters, often in a circle or in unusual spaces within the illustration. Five cards advertise Delorme-Gauthier (DG) on both picture and--with the fable's text--verso. One card advertises New Home (NH) sewing machines on both picture and--with the fable's text--verso. Two blank-backed cards (B) lack the red border stripe, have a white border, offer no fable text, and are printed on thinner cardboard stock. Five DG cards for $40 from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne-Ricouart, France, March, '01. The remaining three for 60 Francs each from Annick Tilly at the Clignancourt flea market, August, '99.  Two more for €1 each in St. Ouen, August, '13.

These cards choose dramatic moments, especially in fables featuring human actors. In one of the two exceptions, "Les Deux Chèvres " is translated into a dramatic human scene of two men fighting each other on a narrow bridge. (The other exception is DJ, mentioned below.) This card has several other interesting points. One of them is that a French card advertises an English (or American?) machine in French. Another is that it gives a terminus post quem for the card. The front proclaims "Il faut dans chaque famille la Machine Type New Home Standard. Adoptée dans les Écoles de France. Médaille d'Or Paris 1889. " Like three other cards, this card presents the fable title in the form of a circle. The verso includes the text, various advertising, and "Imp. de l'Agence Générale, Standard, Paris. " This is the only indication of a printer of any of the cards. The two B cards-- "L'Ivrogne et sa Femme, " and "Le Berger et la Mer "--have lighter paper, smaller images, and larger margins. Delorme-Gauthier seems to be a cloth merchant in Vichy. The DG cards feature a MM in which the woman has fallen, a dressed-up human cock who waits while the jeweler assesses what he has found, a lion having his nails clipped, a traveler struggling in mid-river, and a standard presentation of the divided oyster. See "L'Avare qui a perdu son Trésor " under "Stock Singles." It may well belong to this set.

BlockPrintshepherd&sea.jpg (31991 bytes)

Block Print CJ.jpg (37127 bytes)

Le Berger et la Mer


Block Print 2 goats.jpg (35810 bytes)

Block Print oyster & litigants.jpg (30532 bytes)

Les Deux Chèvres

L'Huitre et les Plaideurs

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Block Print lion in love.jpg (35040 bytes)

L'Ivrogne et sa Femme

Le Lion Amoureux

Block Print MM.jpg (33484 bytes)

Block Print river & torrent.jpg (31157 bytes)


Le Torrent et la Rivière