French Engraving: "La Mort aux Rats, a Bordeaux, en 1820," 1932


This obscure French engraving is dated 1932 and is a copy of an 1820 engraving depicting a rat catcher/killer who made his living finding and exterminating rats. The title is "La Mort Aux Rats, a Bordeaux, en 1820." This translates to rat poison/killer in Bordeaux. A literal translation would be The Death to Rats.

Thank you to for this explanation:

Rat-catchers would attempt to catch the vermin themselves, or use animals trained to hunt and kill them. Alternatively, they could use rat traps. In France, rat-catchers would walk the city streets accompanied by cats in cages and a stick on which 2 or 3 dead rats would be hung from, all the while yelling “Mort-aux-rats!” or “death to the rats!”

This engraving measures 10.5" x 8.25".

*****Condition: The engraving does have wear along the edges and at the corners as well as all over creasing and discoloration. There are penciled numbers on the reverse. Please examine the photos carefully and do let me know if you need more as I'll be happy to oblige.

Thank you for looking.

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