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24: The Fournier Museum Catalogue: Comments and Corrections

The Fournier catalogue is a very useful reference book, full of pictures of cards from all over the world, but especially Europe. Unfortunately, there are quite a few mistakes and unlikely assumptions in it.

The Fournier catalogue is a very useful reference book, full of pictures of cards from all over the world, but especially Europe. Unfortunately, there are quite a few mistakes and unlikely assumptions in it, which renders it less reliable than it should be. I'm sure the information regarding Spanish and Portuguese cards is excellent, and I'm in no position to judge, but in 1970 Fournier bought the De La Rue collection, which had been housed in the British Museum for several years, and some of the accompanying descriptions and information may have contained these errors, only to be reproduced in the catalogue. There is a list of errata in Volume II, but this also contains errors, for example: "Page 215 No. 14. Where its [sic] says: Hervson, this should read Huson." Actually, it should read Hewson. So it might be useful to take a few examples and comment on them one at a time. I'll give the country and reference number and put an illustration (of an equivalent) of some of the items.

France 1/England 46: These cards are from England and date to c.1800; the AS is a fake.

England 42: Could well be later than 1712.

England 43: Three intriguing courts; likely to be nearer 1780 than 1720.

England 55: Confusion with the earlier Henry Hardy; these are c.1810-20.

England 76: Intriguing: these look like Hall courts (Type II), would need to see the AS & wrapper.

England 81: Probably later, would need to see it.

England 85: Must be after 1803.

England 150: Hall & BANCKS!!

England 162: Should be Hunt & Sons by this date.

England 165: Likely to be later, at least 1840s. Whittaker's early cards used the wood-block Type I.

England 197: This is by Van Genechten, made in Turnhout, Belgium. The inscription is certainly unusual; it's normally "Dieu pour tous". It's likely to be from c.1870, but would need to see the courts.

England 206: There were no double-ended packs made in England as early as 1841. This was a popular back design and was used for many years. The first reference to double-ended cards is at the Great Exhibition of 1851, so this pack is likely to date from the 1850s. This is a good example of jumping to conclusions about date based on just one piece of evidence. A date on the reverse of a card indicates the earliest it could be, but packs were issued for many years and other evidence in this case contradicts the early one.

On eBay I saw a Waddington pack given as 1911. This was the one produced as one of a pair for George V's Jubilee in 1935, with a picture of his coronation. It was difficult to persuade the seller that Waddington's were not making cards before 1922: the date on the cards was a will-o'-the-wisp.

England 207: Since this is the later version of their redrawn, single-figure courts, the pack is likely to date from no earlier than 1850.

England 211: According to the AS this is by Reynolds & Co (not Sons), so must be from the 1880s. It would be useful to see the courts, but they are probably Reynolds' own (R1).

France 225/England 223: Hardy finished trading in the 1840s; these cards are more likely to be from the 1830s.

England 225: Intriguing, but no picture. These could be the first version of their Optik cards to help people with poor sight, on show at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

England 226: No picture, but unlikely to be like a Hunt pack (162).

England 254: Unlikely to be 1868: the courts are redrawn and turned (D6), probably c.1875.

England 289: James English's cards are not like those of Goodall (246).

England 310: Closer to 1870 than 1890.

England 311: No picture, but these sound like the cards made for Scandinavia in the 1930s.

England 327: What on earth are "allusive designs"?

England 441: Edward VIII!!

Belgium 117: Not Belgian, these cards are by Obchodni Tiskarny Karty, Prague, imported into England as Casino.

Germanic 93: Must be 1960, not 1860.

[Incidentally, Germanic means belonging to the large ethnic group of the Germanic tribes and/or their languages, which include English, Icelandic and the Scandinavian languages; it does not mean 'German-speaking'.]

There are several more errors, many of which may be editorial in origin, in the supplement volume as well; in places the English is somewhat odd.


By Ken Lodge

Member since May 14, 2012

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​I'm Ken Lodge and have been collecting playing cards since I was about eighteen months old (1945). I am also a trained academic, so I can observe and analyze reasonably well. I've applied these analytical techniques over a long period of time to the study of playing cards and have managed to assemble a large amount of information about them, especially those of the standard English pattern. Read more...

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1981 El Gato con Botas

El Gato con Botas

Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.

1992 Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América

Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América

Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America by Heraclio Fournier, 1992.

1984 Pato Donald

Pato Donald

Donald Duck card game © Walt Disney Productions, by Naipes Fournier, 1984.

1981 Caperucita Roja

Caperucita Roja

Caperucita Roja card game published by H. Fournier, 1981.

1981 Pulgarcito


Pulgarcito (Tom Thumb) card game published by H Fournier, 1981.

1983 Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget

The Adventures of Inspector Gadget quartet game published by Fournier in 1983.

1979 Familias de 7 Paises

Familias de 7 Paises

“Familias de 7 Paises” card game published by Naipes H. Fournier S.A, Vitoria, 1979.

1972 Parejas del Mundo

Parejas del Mundo

“Parejas del Mundo” matching pairs card game by Naipes H. Fournier, 1972.

1981 Aventuras de Sport-Billy

Aventuras de Sport-Billy

The Adventures of Sport-Billy by H. Fournier, 1981.

1984 Chinese Costumes

Chinese Costumes

Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.

1995 Educación Vial

Educación Vial

Educación Vial (Road Safety) card game published by H. Fournier, 1995.

1995 101 Dalmatas

101 Dalmatas

101 Dalmatas by Naipes Fournier, 1995,

1895 Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair No.41 Playing Cards by the United States Playing Card Co, 1895. All the number cards have been imaginatively transformed.

1966 Baraja Turística de España

Baraja Turística de España

Baraja Turística de España by Heraclio Fournier, 1966.

1997 Hercules


Hercules card game published by Herclio Fournier, 1997.

1996 A Goofy Movie

A Goofy Movie

A Goofy Movie card game published by Heraclio Fournier, 1996.

1814 Goyesca


Baraja ‘Goyesca’ facsimile of original deck published in Madrid by Clemente de Roxas, 1814.

1980 Venezuela Baraja Turística

Venezuela Baraja Turística

Venezuela Souvenir deck by Heraclio Fournier, c.1980s.

1980 Far East

Far East

Far East playing cards with designs by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano, c.1980.

1959 Loewe


Deck designed by J. L. Picardo for Loewe, 1959.

1961 Romance Español

Romance Español

“Romance Español” designed by Carlos Sáenz de Tejada and published by Heraclio Fournier in various editions since 1951.

1962 Europe


“Europe” designed by Teodoro N. Miciano and printed by Heraclio Fournier in 1962, portraying XIV century European fashions.

1959 Classic


“Classic” playing cards designed by Paul Mathison inspired by classical mythology, 1959.

1960 America


“America” playing cards designed by Teodoro N Miciano, 1960.

1982 Dumbo


Dumbo card game published by Heraclio Fournier, 1992.

1970 Naipe Nacional

Naipe Nacional

Naipe Nacional designed by the architect, illustrator and artist Luis Alemany (1886-1943).

I. Hardy facsimile

I. Hardy facsimile

Facsimile edition of 19th century I. Hardy Exportation deck complete with reproduction tax wrapper, c.1990s.

1957 East African Playing Cards

East African Playing Cards

East African Playing Cards by Heraclio Fournier S.A., 1957.

1998 Baraja Gaucha

Baraja Gaucha

“Baraja Gaucha” fantasy deck designed by Mateo Tikas Plechas for Argentina, 1998.

1981 European Naval Powers

European Naval Powers

“XVI Century European Naval Powers” deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981.

1973 Ancient Civilisations

Ancient Civilisations

Ancient Civilisations playing cards designed by Celedonio Perellón, produced by Heraclio Fournier, 1973.

1992 Blancanieves


Blancanieves (Snow White) card game published by Heracliio Fournier, 1992.

46: Henry Hardy, Henry French & Christopher Groser

46: Henry Hardy, Henry French & Christopher Groser

A brief look at some makers of whom we know little.

1970 Canary Islands Souvenir

Canary Islands Souvenir

Canary Islands Souvenir by Heraclio Fournier, c.1970.

2004 Habemus Boda, 2004

Habemus Boda, 2004

“Habemus Boda” deck celebrating the royal wedding of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain with cartoons by Sir Cámara

1960 Poker Nº 505

Poker Nº 505

Heraclio Fournier ‘Poker Nº 505’ for export to Argentina with elaborate peacock joker, c.1960.

1940 Poker N°40

Poker N°40

Hijos de Heraclio Fournier’s “Poker N°40” c.1940.

1952 Descubridores y Colonizadores de America

Descubridores y Colonizadores de America

“Baraja Histórica” (Descubridores y Colonizadores de America) manufactured by Heraclio Fournier S.A., 1952 designed by Ricardo Summers “Serny”

Catalan Playing Cards

Catalan Playing Cards

With a distinct history stretching back to the early middle ages, many Catalans think of themselves as a separate nation from the rest of Spain.

Fake Blanchard Ace of Spades

Fake Blanchard Ace of Spades

Fake Blanchard Ace of Spades with court cards based on Hall.