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L Agence General Standard

1890?  17 colored French cards picturing human scenes for La Fontaine's fables. Just over 4¼ " x 3 ". Titles are printed in block letters, often in a circle or in unusual spaces within the illustration. Five cards advertise Delorme-Gauthier (DG) on both picture and--with the fable's text--verso. One card advertises New Home (NH) sewing machines on both picture and--with the fable's text--verso. Two blank-backed cards (B) lack the red border stripe, have a white border, offer no fable text, and are printed on thinner cardboard stock. Five DG cards for $40 from Bertrand Cocq, Calonne-Ricouart, France, March, '01. The remaining three for 60 Francs each from Annick Tilly at the Clignancourt flea market, August, '99.  Two more for €1 each in St. Ouen, August, '13.  Six further cards advertising “Biscuits Pernot – Dijon” for $10.28 each from S.O.L. on Ebay, Jan., ’21.  One further "Pernot" card from S.O.L. for €9, Sept., '21.  "Ass and Robbers" for €9 from s.o.l* through Ebay, August, '22.  Four slender cards advertising Belle Jardinière Chicoree at C. Beriot in Lille for €1.50 each from pier-mont through Ebay, Spt., '23: one new (Fox and Goat); and three with differently placed title-circles (Lion in Love; GGE; AD).

These cards choose dramatic moments, especially in fables featuring human actors. In one of the two exceptions, "Les Deux Chèvres " is translated into a dramatic human scene of two men fighting each other on a narrow bridge. (The other exception is DJ, mentioned below.) This card has several other interesting points. One of them is that a French card advertises an English (or American?) machine in French. Another is that it gives a terminus post quem for the card. The front proclaims "Il faut dans chaque famille la Machine Type New Home Standard. Adoptée dans les Écoles de France. Médaille d'Or Paris 1889. " Like three other cards, this card presents the fable title in the form of a circle. The verso includes the text, various advertising, and "Imp. de l'Agence Générale, Standard, Paris. " This is the only indication of a printer of any of the cards. The two B cards-- "L'Ivrogne et sa Femme, " and "Le Berger et la Mer "--have lighter paper, smaller images, and larger margins. Delorme-Gauthier seems to be a cloth merchant in Vichy. The DG cards feature a MM in which the woman has fallen, a dressed-up human cock who waits while the jeweler assesses what he has found, a lion having his nails clipped, a traveler struggling in mid-river, and a standard presentation of the divided oyster.  The five “Biscuits Pernot” cards indicate as publisher ”Courbe-Rouzet a Dôle (Jura).”  One translation here from the animal to the human sphere strikes me as inept: is the ass who doesn’t care who is his master like a playing child?  That ass may be quite smart!  See "L'Avare qui a perdu son Trésor " under "Stock Singles." It may well belong to this set.

BlockPrintshepherd&sea.jpg (31991 bytes)

BlockPrintdrunk&wife.jpg (39532 bytes)

Le Berger et la Mer

L'Ivrogne et sa Femme

Block Print 2 goats.jpg (35810 bytes)

Block Print oyster & litigants.jpg (30532 bytes)

Les Deux Chèvres

L'Huitre et les Plaideurs

Block Print lion in love.jpg (35040 bytes)

Le Lion Amoureux

Le Lion Amoureux

Block Print CJ.jpg (37127 bytes)


Old Man and Ass

Block Print MM.jpg (33484 bytes)

Block Print river & torrent.jpg (31157 bytes)


Le Torrent et la Rivière

Astrologer and the Well

Child and Schoolmaster





Cobbler & Banker