Aesop's Fables  >  Aesop's Artifacts >...> 1995 French LaF  >  Tricentennial Booklet

Tricentennial Booklet

1995 Six fables en timbres: Timbres émis pour le tricentennaire de la mort de Jean de La Fontaine. La Poste. Claudine and Roland Sabatier. Paperbound. Paris: La Poste. $8.50 from John Plouffé, The Stamp Doctor, San Juan Capistrano, CA, through eBay, Dec., '06.  Extra copy for $3 from Topical Paradise, April, 20. 

Since this is a book that presents stamps, I am listing it in both places, but will place it among the books.  This sixteen-page pamphlet seems to have been issued at the same time as the stamps commemorating the three hundredth anniversary of Jean de la Fontaine's death. Each of six pages contains a clever little transparent holder holding the appropriate stamp for one of six fables. On the same page as the stamp is La Fontaine's text. Facing the page is a full-page reproduction of the stamp itself. I scanned these pages for future use. Before these six pairs of pages presenting stamps and fables, there are three introductory pages. The first has a preface, surrounding which is the only original piece of art in the booklet, a three-sided frame presenting faces of the characters found on the stamps. The verso presents the first of two non-stamp "vignettes" issued with the stamps, namely a portrait of La Fontaine. One lovely feature of this portrait is that his neck-kerchief opens out to become the curtain of a small theater, with the town and country mice playing upon the stage. This page gives the basic dates and events of La Fontaine's life. Facing it is a "Sommaire" or T of C, accompanied by the second vignette, a list of the six fables presented on the stamps: GA, OF, WL, FC, "Le Chat, la Belette et le petit Lapin," and TH. The second-to-last fable has a longer text; its stamp-illustration is thus reduced to less than full-page size to accommodate the extra text. Illustrations and more on other materials issued along with the stamps can be found under "Stamps and Mail" here.  The number of publications surrounding the issue of this stamp series is astounding!