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Depot Centrale

1895? Nine full-color cards illustrating La Fontaine's fables in landscape format with children as actors. The backs of eight, uniform in format but not content, all refer to "Dépot Central, 41, Rue Richer, à Paris." $50 from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne, Ricouart, France, March, '01.

None of the pictures on these cards is well coordinated for colors. Perhaps the best of the colored images is the bespectacled child playing the teacher in "L'Enfant & le Maitre d' École." The most curious feature of this set lies in the unusual relationship between picture side and verso. The latter seems to go its own way, to have a series of scenes of its own, independent of the picture-side. The cards on this reverse side offer six different numbered black-and-white scenes (with doubles of #1 and #4) advertising Alcool de menthe de Ricqlès. In each, one character recommends to another the virtues of this product. This product also produces white teeth and good breath for young women, according to #1. Perhaps she is getting ready to meet her fiancé, who in #5 is also taking some to get ready for her. In #2 it will revive a woman who has fainted. In #3 it is the ideal substitute in the café for the dangerous absynthe. Maybe the most persuasive is #4, where the issue is sea-sickness. In #6 a traveller gets a recommendation on a guide-book, but an even stronger recommendation for Ricqlès as the cure for every least sickness. Two of the cards use people to fill animals' roles: " Le Chat, la Belette & le petit Lapin" and "Le Loup, la Chèvre & le Chevreau." MSA seems to put the fable into the background of the picture. For other cards using the same images, see Bouillon-Rivoyre et Cie Children.

ricqlesLAvarequiaperdusonTresor.jpg (21469 bytes)

ricqlesLeChatlaBeletteetlepetitLapinb.jpg (24733 bytes)

L'Avare qui a perdu son Trésor

Le Chat, la Belette & le petit Lapin

ricqlesLEnfanteteMaitredEcole.jpg (26167 bytes)

ricqlesLeFouquivendlaSagesse.jpg (22413 bytes)

L'Enfant & le Maitre d'École

Le Fou qui vend la Sagesse

ricqlesLeLouplaChevreetleChevreau.jpg (29812 bytes)

ricqlesLeLoupdevenuBerger2.jpg (26280 bytes)

Le Loup, la Chèvre & le Chevreau

Le Loup devenu Berger

ricqlesLeLouplaMereetlEnfant.jpg (23580 bytes)

ricqlesMSA.jpg (22030 bytes)

Le Loup, la Mère & l'Enfant

Le Meunier, son Fils & l'Ane

Conseil Tenu par les Rats

ricqlesverso1.jpg (28605 bytes)

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ricqlesverso4.jpg (25430 bytes)

ricqlesverso5.jpg (26328 bytes)

ricqlesverso6.jpg (25346 bytes)