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Florian Blue Border

1890? 10 colored French cards (and one extra) picturing scenes from Florian's fables. 2½" x slightly more than 4". No artist or printer acknowledged. Seven for $35 from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne-Ricouart, France, March, '01. Three Soury cards from Annick Tilly for 10 Francs each, August, '01.  Seventeen further cards, including two duplicates, for $85 from Bertrand Cocq, Sept., '18.  And five further cards from Bertrand for $5 each, Sept., '20.

In these portrait-formatted small (2½" x 4⅛") cards, a blue border surrounds the full-color picture in the upper three-quarters of the card and the five or six lines quoted from Florian below. The title of the fable itself, with Florian's name in parentheses, is written across the blue bar separating the two portions of the picture side of the card. Most cards have no advertising on either front or back, and include only the text of the fable on the verso. In fact, if one exchanges the blue stripe for a gold one, they are almost exactly like the cards in a set done by A. Billon, though they lack both the numbering and signature we find there. The strongest visual images here might be the lovely picture for "L'Ane et la Flute"; the lively one for "Le Grillon"; and the appropriately awkward one for "Les Deux Chauves."  Four cards advertise "La Jouvence de l'Abbé Soury ("C'est la Santé de la Femme"!) on both front and back. One card advertises Chicorée Leroux on both front and back.  I present our cards here in alphabetical order according to the first noun in each title.  I wonder now how large this series might be.

L'Ane et la Flute

Le Vieux Arbre & le Jardinier

L'Auteur & Les Souris

L'Avare et Son Fils

L'Aveugle & le Paralytique

Le Charlatan

Le Château de Cartes

Le Danseur de Corde

& le Balancier

"Les Deux Bacheliers" (Soury: two copies)

Les Deux Chauves

Les Deux Jardiniers

Les Deux Paysans & le Nuage

Les Deux Persans

Les Deux Voyageurs

L'Elephant Blanc

Les Enfant & le Mirroir

Les Enfants & les Perdreaux

Le Grillon

Le Singe Qui Montre

la Laterne Magique

Le Guenon, le Singe & la Noix

L'Habit d'Arlequin

Le Jeune Homme & le Vieillard

La Mère, l'Enfant & les Sarigues

Le Pacha & le Dervis

Le Philosophe & le Chat Huant

Le Roi Alfonse

Le Roi de Perse

Le Rossignol et le Prince

Le Troupeau de Colas

Le Vacher & le Garde-Chasse