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“The Fables of La Fontaines” sold for $2.7 million

Christie’s New York salesroom auctioned an illustrated album of ‘Les Fables de La Fontaine’ for US$2.7 million.

Approximately $1.5 million – $2.5 million were estimated to be the selling price of Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s mid-18th century illustrations.

‘Les Fables de La Fontaine’ is a collection of short stories by French author Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), published between 1668 and 1694. Educational short stories were originally intended for adults, but later became part of the educational system. Originally, the fables were dedicated to “Monseigneur” Louis, le Grand Dauphin, the six-year-old son of Louis XIV of France.

Animals are used to illustrate good morals in their simple but elaborate messages, such as “Do not judge those below you, you never know what life is made of” or “Be aware of what seems too good to be true, because intentions aren’t always pure”.