Daumier, Honoré-Victorin. Original Lithograph from Série <<Coquetterie>> Plate No. 7, 1840. Daumier Register (DR) 742. The actual lithograph from the pages of Le Charivari, 27.2 cm x 19 cm (10.7 in x 7.5 in), image still on an untrimmed page of newsprint. State 2, “h.D.” initials in the plate. Lower left-hand corner: “chez Bauger, R.du Croissant 16.” Lower right-hand corner: “Imp. D’Aubert [& Cie].”
From a series of only ten lithographs, “Coquetterie” was published between July 7, 1839 and November 5, 1840. Number 7 has the caption, <<Ma foi je ne sais pas comment ils étaient à Austerlitz, mais ça ne pouvait guère être mieux. » (« Indeed, I don’t know what they looked like at Austerlitz, but they could hardly have looked any better. ») ., admiring himself and saying, <<Ma foi je ne sais pas comment ils étaient à Austerlitz, mais ça ne pouvait guère être mieux.>> The year 1840 was the year Napoleon’s body was returned to France from St. Helena, and one of the most vocal proponents of the militarization during 1840 was Adolphe Thiers (1797 – 1877), whose face may have been used on the Frenchman admiring himself in the mirror here, while dreaming of Austerlitz, enthused by Thiers. Daumier’s play on the word guère was probably meant to reference guerre or “war” as a further suggestion to the readers of Le Charivari. Gilt framed and glazed, slight dampstain on mat, image is fine and untrimmed.