Swiss French Suited Playing Cards, c.1840
French-suited playing-cards appeared in Switzerland around the end of the sixteenth century, when many Lyonnais cardmakers were driven away by heavy taxes. The example shown here, printed from woodblocks and hand-coloured with stencils, was manufactured by J. Müller, Diessenhofen, c.1840. For some time, the cantons of Switzerland had their own tax regulations, including tax stamps for playing-cards. The example shown here is a tax stamp from the Canton of St Gallen.