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Creil & Montereau

1900? Faience plate 8" in diameter showing three scenes depicting GA. Numbered "2." A mark on the back seems to combine the letters "M" and "C" and says "déposé Fables Terre de Fer." $18 from Penny Hughes, Marysville, WA, Feb., '06.

This plate features, in its side panels, the backs of two men. One seems a prosperous farmer with mounds of hay nearby. The other has poorer clothing and strides away with a walking stick carrying something -- an instrument perhaps? -- as he goes. The central panel features two women. The "ant" holds an instrument for spinning, while the lovely younger grasshopper holds a lute. A small child is jut behind her.

1900? Faience plate 8" in diameter showing three scenes depicting "Le Fou qui Vend la Sagesse." Numbered "3." A mark on the back seems to combine the letters "M" and "C" and says "déposé Fables Terre de Fer." $45 from Daria Edwards, NY, Feb., '00. Click on the image to see it enlarged.

The madman offers wisdom for a price, and gives those who pay a slap and a piece of thread two ells long. In this strange and wonderful story (La Fontaine IX 8), the first result is that we should not try to make sense of this act – or of anything else that fools say or do! The second result occurs in the story when one fellow, embarrassed by the blow and thread, goes to find a wise man, who tells him immediately that these things are symbols: "Stay this length of thread away from all madmen, or you'll get similar 'caresses.' You were not fooled; that madman does sell wisdom." The plate effectively presents both objects of trade, the slap and the thread. Monochrome characters in the panels at left and right are pondering the string and laughing, respectively.

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1900? Faience plate 8" in diameter showing three scenes depicting "Le Loup et le Chien." Numbered "6." A mark on the back seems to combine the letters "M" and "C" and says "déposé Fables Terre de Fer." $9.99 from Antiques Gallery, St. Cloud, MN, through eBay, Feb., '03.

The smaller pictures on the upper left and lower right picture the chained dog and the departing wolf, respectively. The central picture portrays a thin, poorly clad man with his stick and satchel taking his leave from a rotund man in a uniform of service. The latter carries a set of keys. La Fontaine's fable says that this wolf ran away and is running still!

1900? Faience plate 8" in diameter showing three scenes depicting "Le Rat qui s'est Retiré du Monde." Numbered "8." A mark on the back seems to combine the letters "M" and "C" and says "déposé Fables Terre de Fer." $45 from Daria Edwards, NY, Feb., '00.

This sad story is of the religious hermit-rat who moves into a cheese to live and turns down his fellows when they, under attack, come asking for help (La Fontaine VII 3). He offers them a blessing and says that he, separated from such worldly concerns, will give nothing more. Here a colored panel shows three human soldiers appealing to a monk who leans out of his home's window as they appeal to him. The smaller monochrome panels show the animal scene, complete with its large ball of cheese, and also the enemy: the cat waiting at a hole for any rat who emerges.

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