Jean Picart le Doux
Issued in 1957 on the occasion of the First International Playing Card Week, hosted by De la Rue in London to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary. Artists from several countries had been invited to submit designs for new court cards. Those submitted by Jean Picart le Doux, the famous French tapestry designer, were chosen as the most attractive and outstanding. The set features designs carried out in richly toned colourings typical of the tapestries which Picart le Doux designed for Aubusson & Gobelins. The box (detail shown left) bears a version of the Ace of Hearts which takes the form of a Love Bird. The court cards of the Spades Suit are inspired by maritime ideas and have a recurring theme of the trident. Star fish decorate their clothes. The Ace of Spades is formed by two dolphins supporting the trident with their tails.
One of the striking features of the pack is the interesting treatment of the index figures showing the value of the cards and the carefully conceived layout of the suit symbols. Picart le Doux playing cards were first offered for sale through retail stores at 25 shillings per double pack from 8th October 1957.
Member since February 01, 1996View Articles
Curator 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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