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Monsieur Bibendum car mascot, 1922
A very rare and early silvered bronze car mascot of Monsieur Bibendum (Michelin Man) in boxing stance, the solid cast figure stands on a circular plinth, stamped MADE IN FRANCE to the underside, with foundry numbers, and set on a circular oak base. French, circa 1922.
Height overall: 6 inches (15 cm)
Monsieur Bibendum was an idea of André Michelin who after seeing a stack of tyres which resembled the silhouette of a man at the 1894 Lyon exhibition, developed the character as the company’s central advertising mascot. The character’s motto ‘Nunc est Bibendum’ (‘now let us drink’) refers to the premise that Michelin tyres are the 'The tyre that drinks up obstacles’ or is able to withstand a variety of road debris without puncturing.
The iconic 1898 poster by ‘O’Galop’ (Marius Roussillon, 1867-1946) as shown, illustrates this concept perfectly.