Plate With “I Defend the Nation” Motto
A gift to Joseph Stalinon his 70th
birthday from the communists
of Paris, 1949
This is an original faience plate dating
back to 1792, the time of the Great
French Revolution. In this way, Parisian
communists underlined the similarity
between the two grand revolutions:
the Great French and
Socialist October revolutions.
The Gallic Rooster is one of the most popular symbols of the first French
revolution. Back then, this symbol made its appearance on facades, coins and
tableware. The rooster had double symbolic meaning. On the one hand, it
represented the warrior, the “bird of Mars” — such was the name Aristophanes
gave him in honour of the god of war for his bravery. On the other hand, the
rooster is considered guardian of the fowl-yard, symbolism which is far more
understandable for the ordinary peasant. The slogan, “Je veille pour la Nation
(“I defend the Nation”), inscribed next to the image of the rooster sitting on a
(canon (a symbol of war), implies vigilance, courage and pride.
Marianne au coq de 20 francs, de 1910
Author Le grand Albert
Freedom, equality, brotherhood
During the years of the Great French revolution (1789-1794), new imagery and
subject-matters made their way into everyday life of the French people.
Revolutionary symbols and popular slogans were used as decorative elements
in tableware, furniture, fireplaces, clocks and even hand fans and gloves. In
Nevers, one of the oldest ceramics centres in France, revolutionary events even
gave birth to a new craft which later came to be known as “the Nevers patriotic
Сollection custodian:
“Along with the “rooster on the canon,” our collection includes two more
faience plates dating back to that era. The first plate depicts King Louis XVI
escaping from Versailles in 1791 during the adoption of the French
constitution. The second plate carries an image of a “sheaf of grain”
celebrating peasant labour, and an inscription “Social benefit”). All
three plates are extreme rarities.”