‘Un Baleinobus’, one of a rare series of 78 chromlitho illustrations featured on eight uncut stock cards or sheets that sold for £1000 as part of a Hansons sale of July 31.

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The work of a number of different artists and exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, these ‘En l’An 2000’ cards were originally intended for inclusion in cigarette or cigar boxes and perhaps for use as postcards, but due to financial difficulties were never distributed.

In the 1980s Isaac Asimov found a later printed set of the cards and featured them in his book Futuredays: a Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000.

As the cataloguer noted, some designs appear to correctly predict scientific advancement and inventions, while others, like the example seen here, are completely surreal.