Remscheid, Germany: VICE-Versand, 1968-1981. Three wooden boxes, a stone, and a pink ceramic pig, each in varying dimensions, with affixed labels, each initialled by the artist.
A rare complete set of Filliou's most infamous, linguistically canny series of poetic multiples, issued in numbers over a 13 year period. Each of the the multiples conveys a sentence broken into two parts, which in their division gain a suprising or ironic meaning. The first three numbers each present boxes, with printed labels on the top of each which bear the first half of each sentence.
Optimistic Box No. 1 bears a pink label on the top panel, which states "thank god for modern weapons..." The inside contains a hefty, roughly boxed shape rock, with the second title label inside the top panel finishes the sentence; "we don't throw stones anymore."The inside label is initialled by the artist.
Boite Optimistie No. 2 states "VIVE LE MARIAGE" on the upper label. The box opens to display an initialled spine label inside, which comples the phrase with "A TROIS." Inside the lower portion of the box is pasted a pornographic photograph of a threesome.
Optimistic Box No. 3 is a small wooden box that unfolds into a chess set. The silver title label on the upper panel reads "so much the better if you can't play chess" and opens to show a silver paper label inside the top cover, which reads "you won't imitate Marcel Duchamp." The box is empty.
The final installment of the series is a double number, and materially quite different from the previous numbers, taking the form of a glazed pink porcelain piggy bank, approximately 6 inches long and four inches wide. The pink color of the pig echoes the pink labels of Optimistic Box No. 1. There are labels on two sides of the pig. One label states "one thing I learned since I was born" and the second "that i must die since i was born."
Near fine to fine, with some minor bubbling to the labels of no. 1. The upper label also shows a short nick to upper margin. The labels of No. 2 show some apparent discoloration, similar to all examples we've handled. The labels of the final number are somewhat toned, with the signature largely faded.
Scarce in commerce, particularly the final number. Item #30165