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Chocolat Guérin-Boutron Mechanical Cards

1890?  56 mechanical cards with sliding panels advertising "Chocolat Guérin-Boutron."  2½" x 4".  One card for €8 in St.-Ouen, August, '15.  Fifteen further cards for $12 each from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne Ricouart, France, Sept., '20. A third set of thirteen mechanical cards for €321 from olivier9862 on Ebay, July, ’21, including extras of “Cobbler and Financier” and “Lark and Her Young Ones.”  A set of 12 for €222 from Chromosetcollections through Ebay, August, ’21. One more from Chromosetcollections through Ebay for €18, Oct., '21.  And BC for €19 from la-loutre-curieuse through Ebay, Nov., '21.  A set of eight from Benoit Thibault for €140, May, '22.  Another group of eight for €200 from Albert van den Bosch, Antwerp, June, '23.

Each delicate card includes a sliding panel that replaces the four layers of the original picture with four new layers making up an alternative picture.  Bertrand noticed that I did not understand how my first card, bought in '15, worked.  I am still hesitant to dismantle that card to bring it back to its original state.  Almost all of the fifteen further cards that he found for me are in good working order.  I have made a short Youtube video to illustrate how each card works:  I went out onto the web to see what I could learn about these cards and, though Guérin-Boutron made a wealth of different cards, I could find only two references to this form.  Both of those references are to our collection!  I present the last of these cards below in both its first and its second scene.  I also include one verso.

Fisherman & Little Fish

Two Cocks


Cat, Weasel, & Rabbit

Cat and Old Rat

Cobbler and Financier

Countryman & Frozen Snake

Dog Carrying Master's Lunch


Fox with Bust

Man Running after Luck

Wolves & Sheep

Cook and Swan

Crow Imitating Eagle

Eagle, Sow, & Cat

Eye of the Master

Fox and Goat


Hare & Partridge

Lion and Midge

Animals Sick in Plague

Bear and Gardener

Bitch and Her Cohort

Death and Woodman


Shepherd and Sea

Stag and Vine

Travelers and Bear

Villager and Snake

Wagoner Stuck in Mud

Child and Schoolmaster


Acorn & Pumpkin

Bear & Lover of Gardens

Cobbler & Financier



Monkey & Dolphin

Rat & Oyster



Camel & Floating Sticks


Eagle & Beetle

Horse & Wolf

Monkey & Dolphin


Robbers & Ass


2 Mules

Wolf Turned Shepherd


Swallow & Little Birds


Lark and Her Young #1

Lark and Her Young #2