Early 19th century engraved tankard
This tankard is interesting for several reasons. First of all it is a good example of a French glass tankard from the first third of the 19th century with facet cutting to the base as well as leaf and floral engraving. However, it is the name which has been very carefully engraved that captures attention of anyone with a knowledge of French literature. The fables of Jean de la Fontaine are known by everyone in France and many people from other countries. In England some of these stories are better known as Aesop’s Fables. Most of us know the stories of the Fox and the Stork, the Lion and the Mouse, the Tortoise and the Hare or the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. This glass is engraved with the name Jean Fontaine which, of course, is not that of the 17th century poet but it is close enough to remind us of the humour and social comment of this great figure of world literature.
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