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Plates with decoration from the Fables of de la Fontaine

18th or 19th c
8 1/2 in. (21.59 cm)

French faience, Montereau, France, French, (active 18th Century–20th Century)

Object Type: Ceramic
Creation Place: Europe, France, Ile-de-France
Medium and Support: Faience
Credit Line: Gift of the Marie W. Forrest Trust
Accession Number: 2006.63.a.b.c
a- Plate- Diam: 8 1/2 inches
b- Plate- Diam: 8 1/2 inches
c- Plate- Diam: 8 1/2 inches

2006.63.a depicts the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, which was adapted and rewritten by the French author Charles Perrault (1628 - 1703), published in 1697 near the end of his life.

Red Riding Hood is the earliest known printed version of an oral tale that can be traced to a variety of earlier European and Asian sources. The red hood was first given significance in Perrault's version. The tale carried a message for young women to beware the "gentle wolf."

The French poet Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) wrote in the tradition of Aesop, telling anecdotal stories using a range of animals including sly foxes, scheming cats, vain birds, greedy wolves, along with human characters, to express his insights into the society of his era. LA Fontaine’s sophisticated messages were written in light verse but were intended as social commentary and moral instruction, like The Rat and the Elephant: “The rat, thinking itself important, was soon to find that it was not mighty at all.” La Fontaine’s career and writing overlapped that of French author Charles Perrault (1628-1703) who also adapted and rewrote eleven tales, published in 1697 near the end of his life including Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. Perrault’s Red Riding Hood is the earliest known printed version of an oral tale. Perrault’s publication marked the beginning of a new literary genre, the fairy tale. The Museum’s collection of faience includes two fables by Jean de La Fontaine and six of the original eleven fairy tales by Perrault. Visit the Ceramics Collection online at, or, the kiosk in the museum to see all of the faience plates. The faience manufactory at Montereau produced these plates in glazed earthenware with a series of transfer printed illustrations from the fables.

Object Description
Set of three yellow glazed earthenware plates in the fairy tale series: Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Le Chat Botte (Puss in Boots), Les Souhaits Ridicules (Ridiculous Wishes). Each black transfer printed with running palmette border.

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Additional Image 2006.63.b
Additional Image 2006.63.c
Additional Image frontal

  • See Display Comments for complete dimensions Dimensions: 8 1/2 in. (21.59 cm)

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