Size: 21 x 28.25 inches
Artist: Alexis Vallon
Lefèvre-Utile was founded in Nantes, France, in 1846 by Jean-Romain Lefèvre and his business partner and wife, Pauline-Isabelle Utile. Their initials (LU) were first used by Alfons Mucha for an 1897 calendar ad for the Lefèvre-Utile Biscuit Co. That same year the company hired Firmin Bouisset to create a poster for their rectangular-shaped crested biscuits . Bouisset created Petit Écolier ("the Little Schoolboy") which also incorporated the LU initials. Bouisset's poster was used extensively and the image was embossed on the company's Petit Beurre line of biscuits.
The company also hired other artists, like Vallon, to create iconic images that were used not only to advertise sweets but also to highlight the crafts produced in the area in and around Nantes, a lace making region (note the caps the women are wearing in this famous illustration).
This carton was brought into the gallery by the great-great-grandson of the original Lefevre-Utile family, so the provenance of the piece could not be better. Rare and collectible.