A pair of bookends by Benjamin Rabier with bears guitarists in silvered and patinated Art metal on a black marble base.
Benjamin Rabier (La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendee, December 30, 1864 - Faverolles, October 10, 1939) was a French illustrator, comic writer, and animator.
He was the son of a carpenter, at the age of five the family moved to Paris. Although he won first prizes in a drawing competition (twice in 1879 and 1880), he chose accounting as his profession. He married in 1894.
He became known for creating La Vache Qui Rit and is one of the forerunners of drawing animal strips. Titles of his books include: Les Animaux S'Amusant, Le Roman de Simeon, Les Contes du Pelican Rouge and Les Contes de la Souris Bleue. His work inspired other artists, in particular Hergé and Edmond-François Calvo.
Rabier started as an illustrator for various newspapers after a meeting with Caran d'Ache. With the help of this artist, his first drawings appeared in magazines such as La Chronique Amusante and Le Gil Blas Illustre. His best known creations are Gideon the duck and the characters he drew for Le Roman de Renart. He became a regular member of the weekly newspaper Le Rire, but his real breakthrough came as an employee at Le Pêle-Mêle in September 1895. He also signed for the magazines L'Assiette au beurre and Le Chat Noir.
He started producing albums and illustrated the stories of Jean de La Fontaine. He also wrote plays and made book illustrations. He developed the famous cow logo of the cheese brand La Vache Qui Rit. In 1923 he created Gedeon, a goose whose adventures he drew until the end of his life. Sixteen books were published between 1923 and 1939.
He also provided illustrations for sheet music covers. Holkema and Warendorf in Amsterdam published the children's book by Marie Hildebrandt, Piet Wipneus and Bobo, history of a monkey with pictures of Rabier.