Honore Daumier (1808-1879), Poids et Mesures, lithograph, plate 8 from the series ACTUALITÉS, published in La Caricature, 2e série, nr. 5 in 1840. Reference: Daumier Register 791, second state (of 4), before the number 8 was added. In good condition, hinged along the left margin, 11 1/2 x 8 1/2, the sheet 13 1/4 x 9 5/8 inches.

A very good impression.

The indispensable Daumier Register explains the background of this print: “The law of July 4, 1837 brought the introduction of the metric system to France from January 1840 on. As early as 1790, the Academy of Science was asked to develop such a system. The meter became the new unity for the measuring of distances. Only in 1960, a convention for measures and distances was agreed upon on an international basis.”

Here’s the translation, also from the Register:

Original Text:
Dites moi donc! Mme. Gavin, en v’la des inventions! j’vas m’acheter une robe, et on me parle étranger; ils me baragouinent des Mêtres, des Thermomètres, des Baromètres!… a-t-on vu ça. – Et moi donc, la fruitière au lieu de quatre onces de beurre, elle m’emberlificote avec des Grammes! des Filagrammes et des Programmes!….

– Unheard of, Madame Gavin! What are all these inventions? I buy myself a dress and they talk to me of meters, thermometers, barometers….. Can you imagine!
– And look at me, the grocer instead of 4 ounces of butter suddenly mumbles about grams, Filigrams and Programs!