"Secret Weapon". Signed Pen and Ink Cartoon.
1905. Original pen and ink signed cartoon by the French political cartoonist "Caran D'Ache", whose real name was Emmanuel Poire (1858 - 1909). This cartoon, dated 8 Mai 05, drawn on tissue paper and signed in the lower right panel, is likely from an album. The drawing spoofs a futuristic protective rounded pod for soldiers; the first panel shows them easily transported; the second panel shows the soldiers with the pods snapped around them, protecting them from the swords and spears of African natives; to use as floating fish-like shells to approach ships under their guns and to use as wash basins and cradles after the "war". The "war" Caran D'Ache spoofs appears to be French Colonial Empire building during the later part of the 19th century, a time when France cloaked their acquisitions in Africa as a moral mission to lift the world up "to French standards by bringing Christianity and French culture. In 1884 the leading exponent of colonialism, Jules Ferry declared; "The higher races have a right over the lower races, they have a duty to civilize the inferior races." Full citizenship rights - assimilation - were offered, although in reality "assimilation was always receding [and] the colonial populations treated like subjects not citizens."[Wikipedia]. 22 x 14 1/4". A couple of marginal creases, overall very good condition.
Poire was a satirist whose work appeared in Le Chronique Parisienne, Le Figaro, and Le Rire, and who developed "stories without words", considered a precursor to comic strips. In his later years he began a series of "Albums", booklets of cartoons devoted to current fads and social or political issues. Very good condition. Item #19176