French Revolution playing cards published by Gayant in Paris, 1793
After the development of printing at the end of the 15th century, Rouen became an important centre for card-making whose influence extended far afield. Cards from Rouen are significant because they became the model from which our English pack subsequently evolved.
Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France.
Spanish-suited Aluette pack with 'FABRICANDO IN MADRID' printed on the Two of Swords and the legend Lequart - Paris printed in the top left corners of the court cards.
The assorted antique playing cards shown below are examples of the French 'Paris' pattern from the seventeenth century. The Jack of Clubs has the name Richard Bouvier.
Aluette playing cards manufactured by Dieudonné & Cie, Angers (France), early 20th century
Finely engraved deck by F. d'Alphonse Arnoult (Paris), c.1860. 52 cards.
The Paris pattern was established as such around the middle of the seventeenth century (based, perhaps, on the cards of Hector of Troyes).
Some of the oldest cards still in existence come from France. Much of the early history of cards in France is to do with standard designs and their spread, coupled with a keen sense of economic advantage.
Cards produced in Rouen during the sixteenth century. It was cards like these which were imported to England and are the ancestors of the modern 'Anglo-American' pattern.