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Louvre Felix Lorioux Cards

1900? Eleven numbered large (5⅜" x 7⅛") La Fontaine and five Florian fable cards illustrated by Felix Lorioux and distributed apparently by or for the Louvre Museum. $110 from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne Ricouart, France, Sept., '18. Six additional cards for 48 Euros from Anne-Marie Kucharski, Saint-Ouen, June, '19. One additional card from an unknown source, July, '19.

The verso contains the title and fable, perhaps with one or two vocabulary footnotes. The front features "Au Louvre," though in different typeface. The major portion of the front is taken up with Lorioux' glorious colored illustration, often with "E. Desfossés" below the La Fontaine illustration. At the bottom is the fable's title and a selection of two or three lines from the poem. The lively work of Lorioux has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I was not aware of this series of cards, done perhaps as something of a promotion for the Louvre Museum. I cannot yet make sense of the numbering system. Part of the puzzle is that many cards fit into some system using "1" through "4." Then there are some with no numbers and one with the number "9." Part of the puzzle here is that several fables occur twice in this series, with different quotations and illustrations, and always in different number groups. Does each fable represent a "family" of cards, perhaps generally four cards to a family?  Some day it will come clear how the cards are numbered and how big the series might be.  "Retired Rat #3" is the only duplicate card here.  "Cat and Sparrow" includes a card marked "9."  One of the three cards representing "The Fish and the Cormorant" has no number but seems to fit what the #2 card must be.  

La Fontaine:

The Cat and the Old Rat



The Pie and the Colombe

WC 1

WC 4

Wolf Turned Shepherd 3

Wolf Turned Shepherd 4

Retired Rat 2

Retired Rat 3

Fish and Cormorant 1

Fish and Cormorant 

Fish and Cormorant 3




Cat and Sparrow 2

Cat and Sparrow 9

Mole and Rabbits 1

Mole and Rabbits 2

Mole and Rabbits 3