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Lot 1: HOPE (LEON CHOUBRAC 1847-1885). LES PAVILLONS NOIRS / LES MYSTÈRES DE LA CHINE. 1883. 41x28 inches, 105x71 cm. Franc, Paris.
December 18, 2012
New York, NY, USALive Auction
HOPE (LEON CHOUBRAC 1847-1885) LES PAVILLONS NOIRS / LES MYSTÈRES DE LA CHINE. 1883.
41 1/2x28 inches, 105 1/2x71 cm. Franc, Paris.
Condition B-: repaired tears, restored losses and restoration along vertical and horizontal folds and in image; creases, abrasions and discoloration in margins and image; bubbling in upper image; margins trimmed.
Pierre Zaccone wrote Les Mystères de la Chine in 1860. By the time the book was serialized in 1883, France's situation in Indochina had become more precarious. The Pavillons Noirs ("The Black Flags") was a mercenary and bandit army that formed in the 1860s and swelled to great numbers in the 1870s. The Black Flags fought with the Vietnamese and the Chinese against the French, quite successfully at times, and their skirmishes and battles ultimately led to the Sino-French War in 1884. As in the case of horror movie posters from the following century, this poster aims to stimulate the primal fear of the French public, portraying a terrifying enemy of France, a savage Asian warrior making off with a Western woman.