A beehive emblem of the "Comedie Francaise"
Information by Michel Gaby, Mialet/France


As I was recently traveling in Paris in the subway, I saw a poster for a show with an emblem representing a beebive, as you can see on the illustration. It's the emblem of the 'Comedie Francaise', the national theater group, which began in 1680 from a decree proclaimed by King Louis XIV. You can find the details of this organization on their website: http://www.comedie-francaise.fr/

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This emblem, the beehive, and its motto 'simul et singulis' is as old as 'The Societe des Comediens Francais'. The reproduction you can see above comes from the attendance tokens which were given to the comedians for the Comity meetings starting in 1682. These tokens were made of silver and measured 32mm-diameter. On one side Louis XIV s profile could be seen, on the other: 'simul et singulis' - a beehive in the midst of bees.

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It still is the emblem of the 'Comedie Francaise' and it appears on the lambrequin of one of the curtains and in the middle of the railing of the dress circle of the room where the  'Comedie' performs.  The beehive and its bees symbolize the never ending activity in the House. The motto applies more particularly to the comediens and means: "be together and be yourself'.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 2/2003 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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