The stationery set shown above is one of a couple I’ve owned that were produced by the French company Laroche-Joubert. This Barbarella set doesn’t have any obvious connection with the comic book or the movie featuring that character: perhaps there was merely an intention to cash in on that phenomenon by indirect association. As might just be visible, there’s a faint image of a woman’s head and shoulders on each page, with the same picture more clearly visible on the front cover of the folder.

The other set (whose product name is Anabelle) likewise has a background image on each sheet (see below), this time a drawing of a figure reminiscent of some of Leon Bakst’s designs for the Ballets Russes. Here, however, the folder’s cover image bears no relation to the one within. I wonder if this one might date from the early-to-mid ’80s, whereas the other one has more of a ’70s look about it - but those are altogether uninformed guesses.

The industrialist and politican Jean-Edmond Laroche-Joubert (1820-84) inherited a paper-making concern from his father, building it into a much larger enterprise, chiefly associated with the town of Angoul√™me. “The company was known for high quality writing papers that could be watermarked with all sorts of drawings at the choice of the buyer” says his wikipedia page, which ties in with the sets I’ve acquired, in which the paper quality is indeed admirably good.