Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Military ABC Book

'Armée Française : Nouvel Alphabet Militaire'
Text by Pierre Léon Vanier
Illustrations by Henri de Sta

This 1880s book - obviously aimed at young people - offers satirical portrayals of various branches and uniforms of the French military and each chromolithograph is accompanied by a page of descriptive text.

Letter 'A'
A is for Artillery

Letter 'B'
B is for Brigadier

Letter 'C'
C is for Cuirassier^

Letter 'D'
D is for Dragoon^

Letter 'G'
G is for Gendarme

Letter 'J'
J is for Justice and Order

Letter 'K'
K is for Képi^

Letter 'O' (courtesy BnF)
O is for Officer

Letter 'Q' (courtesy BnF)
Q is for Quartier Maitre (A marine)

Letter 'R'
R is for Reservist

Letter 'V'
V is for Vaguemestre (Military Postmaster)

Letter 'X'
X is for X. Polytechnicien 
[graduate of École polytechnique (aka: X), a higher ed facility near Paris]

Letter 'Y'
Y is for (?) Commander of supply lines (road or rail trains)

Letter 'Z'
Z is for Zouave^

Biographical quote from LAMBIEK site: "French illustrator Henri de Sta was born in Versailles as Arsène Henri Saint-Alary. He began his career around 1882 with La Vie Artistique and the publishing house of Léon Vanier. Coming from a family of militaries, garrison life became a regular theme in his career. De Sta worked as a humorous illustrator for Le Chat Noir since 1892. He was also present in Le Paris Bouffon (1885), Le Rire (1897) and Le Charivari (1900). He composed military alphabets, illustrated songs and produced comics for La Chronique Amusante from 1896, and for Les Contes Moraux et Merveilleux of the printing firm Pellerin d'Epinal."

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