An American doughboy leads his German prison in this hand painted set created by G. Boudard, a French soldier wounded in the 1st war.
The artist/ soldier who hand painted these wooden figures is G. Boudard, a French soldier wounded at the First Battle of the Marne in the first year of the war. Some quick research placed him at the ÉCOLES DE BLESSÉS (24, Bd des Capucines), a school were he painted these silhouettes.
Boudard, like so many other wounded veteran’s, while recovering at hospitals, and other facilities were taught to make crafts, souvenirs, etc., to help provide physical and mental stimulus that would assist their healing, and if necessary, provide them with a way to have some income later.
The two figures are of an American doughboy leading his German infantry prisoner by a rope. The figures are done on 1/8″ plywood and have a height of approximately 16 inches (The American being the tallest). The colors are still quite vibrant, and with the aging and general wear, these have a great look. Several inaccuracies exist concerning the accoutrements, and weaponry, being a combination used by different nations. The German is pretty true, considering Boudard had some experience fighting them, where he was already out of the war to have US troops in the field. He made similar ones featuring British, French soldiers with their German counterpart.
He has signed each figure boldly on the base, and dated “1918.” The doughboy bears the title, “La Chasse de Sammie.” (Sammie the hunter?).
I haven’t seen any of these around, so not well versed other than to appreciate their historic and artistic qualities. Have to believe these to be relatively scarce.
Condition overall is fine, and complete with the original twine (rope). Missing as well are the cross sections that would allow these to stand. Framed or free-standing, these make for a very impressive display.