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Six Cartes Postales en Couleurs de Gil Baer – Guerre 1914

  • Author: BAER, Gil (artist)
  • Publisher: Edition J Guiraud & Cie, Marseilles (publishers)
  • Dimensions: Paper wrappers: 14.5 x 9.1 cms / Six Cards: 14.1 x 9.1 or 9.1 x 14.1 cms each


A rare complete set of unused World War One propaganda postcards designed by Parisian artist & illustrator, Gil Baer [1863-1931]. The set includes a little-known & rarely-seen satirical cartoon map of Europe.

About this piece:

Six Cartes Postales en Couleurs de Gil Baer – Guerre 1914

[1. Untitled cartoon map of Europe / 2. Vas y mon gars! C’est pour la France, pour L’Humanité / 3. Le Chant du Depart. Liberté guide nos pas… / 4. Guillaume et Ses Allies, la Lachêté, Le Mensonge, La Cruauté, L’Assassinat, Le Vol, Le Pillage / 5. Encore un carreau de cassé, v’la les vitriers qui passent / 6. Kif kif caravane afrique, y en a bezef chameaux !]

The set of six cards complete with their original printed & embossed paper wrappers. The cards in bright printed colours. Very fine unused set.

Parisian artist & illustrator, Gil Baer /Gilbert Berr was the son of Alsatian artist, Leopold Berr. A prolific book illustrator, he also worked for many of the leading French comic and satirical magazines of the late 19th and early 20th Century period. Born in Strasbourg in 1863, just seven years before the Franco-Prussian war, Baer considered himself an “Alsatien occupé”. He had cut his first professional teeth as a commercial artist & illustrator in the post-1871 Alsatian occupation. Here, some 45 years later, he gives vent to his deep-seated anti-German sentiments through the medium of the patriotic propaganda postcard.

The set comprises six cards, the first a rare cartoon map of Europe in which the individual nations are brought vibrantly to life. Marianne wraps a protective arm around her young offspring (Alsace & Lorraine) sinking the tip of her sword into the flank of a double-headed monstrous enemy; a Tommy soldier & giant Russian, accompanied by white bear and cannons, rush to her aid. The other cards portray typical patriotic scenes: a French soldier departs his wife & children to go off to war; the symbolic figures of Victory & winged Liberty lead Allied troops into battle; a blood-stained procession depicts the German Kaiser & his hideous “Allies”; French soldiers approach a ruined house in which the Kaiser himself shelters. “Another broken window, well here come the glaziers!”, exclaims Wilhelm. The final card depicts captive German prisoners under the guard of French colonial troops, one of whom jokes: “Just like an African caravan. Many camels!” – a wry commentary on the cultural “otherness” of France’s troupes indigènes & of their highly important contribution during World War One.