Pair of rare Crimean war hand-colored lithographs depicting caricatures of French Zouave soldiers signed Baric. Jules Jean Antoine BARIC (1825-1905) was a French illustrator and caricaturist active in the second half of the nineteenth century. Originally the Zouaves were North African fighters loyal to Algeria. In the 1830's, France incorporated the Zouaves into its army as elite forces. Among other conflicts, French Zouave regiments served with distinction in the Crimean War, the Franco Prussian War and even in the opening weeks of the First World War.
Each sheet is inscribed in ink on the margin "Modele" meaning these are proof sheets. They are signed on the plate Baric and numbered (11 and 23 respectively). They are also inscribed in small letters below the image:
Paris, A de Vresse, edit. r. de Rivoli, 55. Lith Genix, r. du Puits, 3. (Marais)
Large text below each image reads in French as follows:
11. Pair of French Zouave soldiers dragging a cannon:
"Ces guex d'Autrichiens, ils n'ous auraient s'ment pas offert un canon d'un temps qui...soif. - Heureusement nous nous sommes servis nous memes!"
A double-entendre where "canon" means a piece of artillery and also a glass of wine. It can be loosely translated as "Those Austrian rascals don't offer us a drink when we are thirsty. Luckily we can help ourselves."
23. French Zouave sharing a canteen with a dying Russian soldier:
"On n'est pas des Turcs." (We are not Turks).
In good used condition with ink stains and small margin tears as shown (can be mostly concealed with a mat). Shipped fully insured with tracking number.
Measurements: Sheet: 14.2" by 11" (36 cm by 27.4 cm); Visible Image: 8.7" by 7.3" (22 cm by 18.5 cm) approximately.