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Illustration Art, Coiffures, Women’s Hairstyles, Jack Abeille, Antique Drawing, 1901


Jack Abeillé (1873-after 1921)
French: 1901
Pen and ink, highlighted with colored pencil and paint
Signed and dated lower right: Jack Abeillé 01
13.25 x 18.25 inches, ruled border
14.25 x 18.75 inches, overall

Pen and ink original Art Nouveau illustration art of seven vignettes of women’s hairstyles beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Each one is framed by a curving border and has a humorous typeset caption commenting on each portrait pasted within a hand-drawn border. Some of the captions are sly double entendres. Presumably this drawing was made for publication as a poster or in one of the humor magazines for which the artist often contributed illustrations. The title appears as part of the design in large letters in the upper portion of the illustration.

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Captions and our rough translations below:

“La coiffure de Mme Eve… Ça lui servait aussi de robe, ce qui constituait une économie sérieuse pour le ménage, et c’était bien aussi joli que les creations de nos grands couturiers.”
[Hairdressing Ms. Eve … It also served as her dress, which was a real economy for the household, and it was as pretty as the creations of our top designers.]

“La coiffure de ma bonne amie… Sans me vanter, elle est souvent décoiffée ma bonne amie!”
[The hairstyle of my good friend … Not to brag, my good friend’s hair is often a mess!]

“La femme de mon ami Cornard. On vient la coiffer tous les matins, et elle est toujours dépeignée. Pourquoi? ce bon Cornard n’y comprend rien.”
[The wife of my friend Cornard. Someone comes to do her hair every morning, and she is always disheveled. Why? good Cornard doesn’t understand at all.]

“La coiffure de ma bonne… Ma femme vient de la chasser parce qu’elle l’a trouvée en train de se faire recoiffer par un pompier.”
[The hairstyle of my maid… My wife just sent her packing because she found her busy having her hair redone by a firefighter.]

“Jeune garçon ou bien petite femme? En tout cas, avec un garçon comme ça, on peut se passer de femme.”
[Young boy or nice little woman? In any case, with a boy like that, we can do without women.]

“Mlle X… Coiffure Louis XV. Chante des chansons d’il y a deux siècles avec une bouche d’un quart de siècle.”
[Mlle X… Coiffure Louis XV. Sings songs from two centuries ago with the mouth of someone of a quarter of a century (i.e. 25 years old).]

“Encore une petite femme jamais coiffée. Mais c’est parce que son mari l’est trop.”
[Another little woman never has her hair done. But it’s because her husband is too much.]

Jack (Jacques) Abeillé was a prolific French illustrator, cartoonist and caricaturist who contributed illustrations to a number of French humor magazines, such as Le Rire, Le Pêlemêle, Le Frou-Frou and L’Amour. As early as 1893, when he would have been about 20 years old, he had published a cartoon in La Gaudriole. He participated in the Exposition of Humorists at Paris and another of the same genre in Copenhagen in 1910. He also illustrated novels of manners by Victor Joze, Louis Latourette and Victorien du Saussay. In 1921 he is listed as a writer based in Paris in a French directory of arts and letters.

Condition: Illustration generally very good, with the usual expected light toning and soiling for a working drawing. Captions are typeset overlay pastedowns, as issued.


Azais, Jean Alphonse. Annuaire international des lettres et des arts de langue ou de culture franc?aise. Paris: M. Jean Azais, 1921. (4 February 2015).

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 1, p. 8.

Additional information


20th Century