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Compagnie Générale Transatlantique

1956 41 different menus illustrating eight different fables with La Fontaine's text printed for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique French Line.  For use on transatlantic voyages between December, 1956 and July 11, 1959 on ships "Liberté," "Flandre," and "Ile de France" and at a dinner and dance at the Elks Club January 19, 1957 sponsored by the Women's Auxiliary for the benefit of Saranac Lake General Hospital (in the Adirondacks in New York State).  Images by Jean A. Mercier.  The menus cost between $3.66 and $30 each.  While I did not keep track carefully of where I found all 41, aligning the dates of the menus showed distinct groupings and helped me match some menus with sellers. Those curious can find the list of fables, dates, ships, and sellers here.

These are not only menu jackets but menus themselves, with a fable text on the back cover and a fable image and title on the front cover.  We used one of them – "The Coach and the Fly" – in the Joslyn exhibit because of its clever trompe-l'oeil use of a fly right on the menu itself.  I find the images delightful.  Lovely pastels work together effectively in these light-hearted pictures. To judge from the splashes on the "dinner and dance" menus, it must have been some party!  The fables and numbers of copies are

The Coach and the Fly (8);

The Little Fish and the Angler (5);

FC (4);

MM (4);

The Monkey and the Dolphin (6);

The Ass and the Lapdog (3);

The Wolf Become Shepherd (6);

WL (5).


Dinner & Dance