A Small Treasure Found In Our Big Forest


These days we have a very special event at Musee Labinet. The event is called the Small Treasures and if you plan to come to Versailles before 17 July 2010, you have a good chance to be a part of the Small Treasure hunt. What are the treasures you may want to know? Let me show you a couple; for example, here is this wonderful late XVIII century fan with a pictorial narrative that has shocked and amused me.

The protagonist of the narrative, a certain Louis Gillet, while walking through the forest of Autun, comes upon the following scene: two gentlemen, dressed as the pirates of the Caribbean, have an eighteen-year-old damsel tied to a tree. No gag, she is screaming her head off; meanwhile the pirate-wanna-bes brandish their weapons.

What to do? Louis pulls out his sword and cuts the cheek off the face of one of the bandits, the one shown on the left — he is armed with a pistol. This certainly affects the brigand’s aim and he misses Louis Gillet with a bullet; on seeing such a contingency, the other “pirate” flees.

Next we untie the victim. The girl stops screaming and has a syncope episode instead. Then the hero delivers the girl to her parents; and the very grateful father offers his daughter to our man. “No, thank you!” says Louis, “I am seventy years old, and I think I have done enough for you already.” Glory. The end.

By the way this is the second time I see a representation of this anecdote. The first representation was inside the two Easter eggs they have upstairs; there inside the two Easter eggs we find two scenes of the same story. For those of you who have not read my Easter story here is the link.

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