Grand Semaine des Armes de Combat

by Joe Bridge

Woman and man flirting while dog plays with fencing equipment.

There's more foreplay than swordplay evidenced in this poster for the 1912 Fencing Week, organized by the Parisian Federation of Swordsmen under the patronage of the National French Federation. This coquettish encounter would seem to have driven the leashed French bulldog to distraction and he appears ready to take sporting matters into his own paws. Bridge's design provides us with an excellent example of how advertising has changed with regard to sporting events: though appealing and well-composed, it doesn't contain the action-packed imagery today's In Your Face fan has come to expect. That does not, however, reduce the immense charm of the piece one iota. New York-born Bridge (whose real name was Jean Barrez) spent most of his professional career as an illustrator, humorist, posterist and publisher in Paris, where he died in 1967.

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