Did you know that Le Figaro used to have a “dingbat”? No, neither did I, until I was stumbling through the archives the other day. For a brief period in the 1930s, the Fig stylistically dropped the article “le” from its nameplate, while continuing to be known as “Le Figaro” for all intents and purposes. Simultaneously, they introduced a handsome horizontal dingbat to sit atop the newspaper’s unique name.
The vignette centers on the arms of the City of Paris, topped (as civic arms often are) by a mural crown. Hanging from the shield are the Legion d’Honneur (awarded to the City in 1900) and the Croix de Guerre (awarded in 1919). Behind the arms we see the axehead (from the emblem of the Republic) peeking out. A couple of banners rest with an anchor at their base, all flanking the Parisian shield. A palette and paintbrushes represents art, a book (imprinted with a large letter “F”) for literature, a lyre for music, a globe for world affairs, and an actor’s mask for drama. It reminds me a bit of Allemandi dingbat, which I will probably get around to writing about sometime before I die.
As handsome as it was, the dingbat didn’t survive very long and it was dropped when the newspaper returned the article “le” to the nameplate.