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Five plates 6 3/8 inches in diameter, each with a multicolored 5½" design from a fable of La Fontaine. Apparently from a series of six. The designs are marked on each plate with © Images d'Épinal Pellerin. Imprinted on the back are "Exclusivité Porcelaine de Sologne," "Made in France," and the number "3." $45.01 for the set of five (out of a series of six?) from Jayne Dean, Oxnard, CA, through Ebay, Oct., '00. The design of this set seems to follow in smaller scale exactly that of a Tortoise and the Hare plate I have from the Societé Francaise de Porcelaine.
1. La Grenouille qui veut se faire aussi grosse que le boeuf The vibrant colors help to focus attention here immediately on the largest of the frogs in his red, white, and blue outfit. The steer, turned in the opposite direction and chewing his cud, probably does not even know that the frogs are there. 2. Le Corbeau et le renard Again, the vibrant colors of the fox's clothes draw us to him and to the cheese, whose color matches his leggings, satchel, and cap. The blue of his jacket may also draw our eye to the pleading hand he has stretched out. That hand is ready for a catch! 3. Le Heron There is less happening on this colorful plate than in some others. The attention all goes to the central figure. Two things strike me about him. First, the artist does a fine job of fusing animal and human. What great legs, for example, for a human heron! Secondly, we get a good sense of this creature's fastidiousness as he looks into the water without actually fishing. 4. Le Lion et le rat The struggling lion with his strong mass of brown color dominates this image so strongly at first that we might hardly notice two other key figures. First is the mouse near the foreground center gnawing away on a rope. Second is the hunter riding up on his horse; he is seen just past the lion's head on the right. 5. Le Petit poisson et le pecheur As usually happens in an Épinal illustration, strong colors help to create the scene. Here the colors of everything in sight--trees, sky, basket, boat-benches, hull, and human clothes--help to contrast with the one thing to which our eye is not drawn by color, the little fish pleading to be seen now as insignificant. Does the "Ch.P." on the side of the boat give a clue to the artist's identity?