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La vache qui rit – Vintage poster – Benjamin RABIER – 1948 Sold

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Vintage poster La vache qui rit

Benjamin RABIER

circa 1948

During the first world war the French Army's general staff decided to give each unit a specific emblem which would be fixed to all vehicles. A competition was launched to decide on the best emblem. A drawing by Benjamin Rabier of a merry cow was chosen for the regiment fresh meat-supplying. This drawing was named the Vachekyrie, referring to the Valkyries by Richard Wagner which were also the transport emblem of the German troops. In 1921 a cheesemaker called Leon Bel, looking for a name for his melted cheese "fondu", remembered the army emblem and deposed the mark "La vache qui rit" (The laughing cow). To make it the emblem of his product he contacted Benjamin Rabier, who remade his original drawing and with the suggestion of his wife, gave it earrings to feminise the animal. Leon Bel bought the rights for 1000 francs. The printer Vercasson was asked to make the necessary touches and gave the cow its red colour. (according to Wikipedia)

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