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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

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France

160 Articles
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“Deck with French suits”

A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid. • Feb 05, 2021

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1900 Jeu de Cartes

‘Jeu de Cartes 1900’ designed by Marie Christine Schira in the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil style, 1979. • May 07, 2016

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61: French regional patterns: the kings

On page 11 I illustrated several examples of the regional French patterns from Sylvia Mann's collection; this is a more in-depth look at the figures of these patterns ("portraits" in French). • Dec 11, 2018

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62: French regional patterns: the queens and jacks

Continuing our look at the figures from the regional patterns of France. • Dec 19, 2018

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63: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 1

A great many regional patterns were exported from France and subsequently copied elsewhere. Some of them became local standards in their own right. • Jan 04, 2019

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64: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 2

A continuation of the development of the off-spring of the Paris patterns and a few examples of how the French regional figures have inspired modern designers. • Feb 03, 2019

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A. Camoin & Cie

This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating. • Nov 26, 2021

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A. Camoin & Cie, Casablanca & Marseille

Spanish national pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Casablanca & Marseille • Jan 01, 1970

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Alcatel

Alcatel playing cards published by Éditions Dusserre, c.1970s • Sep 27, 2017

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Algeria

Spanish suited playing cards produced by B. P. Grimaud (Paris) for Algeria, around 1910. • Jan 01, 1970

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Amorous Translucent Playing Cards

Amorous Translucent Playing Cards, French, c.1850. • Apr 11, 2018

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Astérix

Cartes à Jouer ‘Astérix’ published by Ducale, 1987. • Sep 05, 2016

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Atouts de la Vie

“Atouts de la Vie” wartime card game created by Madame Lucien Willemetz, c.1940. • Feb 08, 2019

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Back to the USSR

Back to the USSR deck featuring communist party leaders and politicians, c.1995 • Aug 26, 2016

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Banco for Air France, c.1952

Banco playing cards for Air France manufactured by Draeger Frères, c.1952 • Nov 25, 2016

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Banque Nationale de Paris, c.1962

Special deck made for La Banque Nationale de Paris by Van Genechten, Turnhout, c.1962 • Nov 25, 2016

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Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989. • Feb 09, 2021

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Benedicte Morand-Bail

Benedicte Morand-Bail’s striking and colourful abstract poker deck with French named courts • Dec 22, 2020

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Benoist Laius

Spanish playing cards such as these were used in those parts of France where certain games were enjoyed, such as Aluette. • Jan 20, 2013

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Boisse English pattern

Boisse English pattern, c.1870 based on designs by De La Rue. • Jan 28, 2010

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Bone Playing Cards

My late mother found these miniature cards in a skip around 50 years ago. • Oct 29, 2021

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Boulogne-sur-Mer Chamber of Commerce

Boulogne-sur-Mer Chamber of Commerce & Industry playing cards illustrated by James Hodges, c.1974. • Dec 14, 2017

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Bretagne

Jeu de Cartes “Bretagne” conveying their cultural identity. • Sep 28, 2014

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Bretagne

Bretagne (Brittany) playing cards, Grimaud, c.1970. • Dec 14, 2020

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British Museum Playing Cards

Unique pack of playing cards created for the British Museum with illustrations by Frances Button. • Oct 08, 2014

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Butagaz

“Butagaz” playing cards for the French gas company, c.1976 • Jul 20, 2017

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Cancan

Lightly risqué luxury playing cards published by Éditions Philibert of Paris in 1956. • Sep 01, 2012

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Cartes à Jouer Espagnoles

Cartes à Jouer Espagnoles Héron - Catalan pattern • Oct 07, 2015

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Cartes à Jouer Héron

Promotional decks by Héron • Feb 15, 2015

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Cartes à Rire

Transformed playing cards featuring satirical caricatures of political figures then in the ascendant, Paris, c.1819. • Apr 12, 2016

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Cartes Catalanes

Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France. • Aug 07, 2011

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Cartes Comiques du Colonel Atthalin

“Jeu de cartes comiques” transformation cards designed by Louis Atthalin (1784-1856) and published in 1817. • Jan 31, 2016

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Cartes Imperiales et Royales

‘Cartes Imperiales et Royales’ published by B. P. Grimaud & Cie representing imperial rulers and consorts from Austria, England, France & Russia, mid-19th century • Nov 11, 2015

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Cartes Parisiennes

The courts are full-length figures of English historical personages. • Feb 06, 2013

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Cartes Questions-Devinettes

A “Questions & Answers” family game from France produced by Imagerie Pellerin. • May 05, 2011

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Cartes Recréatives

Cartes Recréatives is a set of Transformed playing cards designed by Armand-Gustave Houbigant (1790-1863) and first published by Terquem et May, Metz, in 1819. • Dec 11, 2015

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Cassandre for Hermès

Promotional playing cards created by A. M. Cassandre (pseudonym of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, 1901-1968) with abstract, almost surrealist figures and ornamentation, but clearly inspired by medieval art and rendered into an Art Deco style. • Apr 06, 2013

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Catel & Farcy

Catel & Farcy (Paris). • Feb 03, 2015

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Chamborama

This “Jeu de Familles” from the 1960s designed by Jean Bachès promotes Chambord glassware. • Apr 28, 2014

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Charles Cheminade Tarot

Marseille Tarot cards by Charles Cheminade of Grenoble, France, early 18th century. • Feb 21, 2014

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Chocolat du Planteur

Chocolat du Planteur cards (reproduction) by French artist Louis Bourgeois-Borgex, c.1900. • Sep 14, 2019

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Ciel de France for Miro Company

‘Ciel de France’ published by Miro Company (Paris) featuring designs by Jacques Branger, c.1950 • Nov 26, 2016

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Classique

“Classique” by Draeger Frères, Paris, c.1949 with designs reminiscent of early French cards. • Nov 27, 2016

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Corsaires et Flibustiers

“Corsaires et Flibustiers” playing cards created by G. Delluc and published by Éditions Philibert, Paris, 1958 • May 18, 2016

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Dames de France

“Dames de France” published by J-M Simon based on originals by Armand Gustave Houbigant, Paris, c.1817 • Jul 21, 2017

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Dauphiné Pattern

The Dauphiné pattern is an archaic French pattern which was manufactured in the Lyons region from the 17th century. • Feb 16, 2010

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De La Rue Continental

During the latter part of the nineteenth century De La Rue produced two special packs of cards for the Continental market. The Aces of Spades are marked "De La Rue & Co. London and Paris". • Feb 14, 2010

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Dieudonné & Cie Aluette

Aluette playing cards manufactured by Dieudonné & Cie, Angers (France), early 20th century. • Sep 09, 2010

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Early Anglo-French Cards

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. • Jan 21, 2010

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Éditions Dusserre, Paris

Éditions Dusserre, Paris • Jul 16, 2016

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Éditions Philibert

Éditions Philibert published an outstanding series of exotic, artistic playing cards in Paris from 1954 to 1960 • Sep 15, 2012