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Published March 20, 2014 Updated June 02, 2023

Daveluy

Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. Many of his playing cards have historical connotations and show figures with a landscape background.

Belgium Daveluy Fashion & Costume Historical Medieval Add to Collection

Daveluy, Bruges (active 1835-1895)

Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. His output differs from other Belgian manufacturers by its distinctive fantasy medieval style, lively chromolithography, traditional ideals of workmanship and de luxe finish. Unlike his contemporaries in Turnhout, Daveluy favoured graphic originality with a penchant for the “neo-medieval” and “neo-Renaissance” which was becoming fashionable at that time, evoking an old order of chivalry and adventure.

‘Première Croisade’ by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1850

Above: chivalrous ‘Première Croisade’ playing cards by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1850   more

Many of Daveluy's playing cards have historical connotations with reference to the history of the Southern Netherlands, and show figures with a landscape background. Where the Turnhout manufacturers borrowed from French and Continental patterns and addressed the wider world, Daveluy addressed Belgium of the 1830s. However, many of his fantasy playing card designs influenced the output of other manufacturers who imitated his style.

Jeu de cartes au portrait espagnol de fantaisie, dit Des Quatre parties du monde, 1875-1880. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Above: Four Corners of the World playing cards, 1875-1880.

Fantasy designs by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1860

Above: fantasy double-ended designs by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1860-75. Traditional ideals of workmanship with different colouring at each end   (click image to see more).


FURTHER REFERENCES

Cartes à Jouer de XVIIe au XXe siècle, Collection Atger, Etude Tajan, 2000.

Mann, Sylvia: All Cards on the Table, Jonas Verlag/Deutsches Spielkarten-Museum, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, 1990.

Heritage insight

Édouard Alexis Daveluy (1812-1894) founded his press in Bruges in 1835. Having been appointed Lithographer to the King, in 1847 he filed a patent for “a method of manufacturing playing cards in chromolithography”. We might even go so far as to say that Daveluy challenged the concepts of ‘progress’ associated with industrialisation and pursued his own ideals.

‘Cartes Moyen-Age’ by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1875

Above: somewhat nostalgic ‘Cartes Moyen-Age’ by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1875   more

Daveluy exhibited in Paris at the Universal Exhibitions of 1855, 1867 & 1878. He also produced Lenormand & Tarot packs. Around 1880, Édouard Daveluy transferred the business to his eldest son Victor (1846-1886) who had made a name for himself as a photographer, but he died prematurely. In 1895 his widow assigned the business to the Geûens-Seaux partnership, although Brepols is believed to have taken some of Daveluy's plates or lithographic stones and Geûens brought two of the Brepols craftsmen to Bruges.

Dutch pattern playing cards by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1880

Above: Dutch pattern playing cards by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1880   (click image to see more).

Spanish playing cards by Daveluy, Bruges, Belgium

Above: Spanish-suited playing cards produced by Daveluy for Spain. © National Museum of the Playing Card, Flemish Department of Culture, Youth and Media.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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