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Published July 09, 2023 Updated July 09, 2023

Auvergne Pattern

The Auvergne pattern is one of the oldest in France.

1690 France Goyrand Archaic Patterns Auvergne Pattern Add to Collection

For centuries, Lyon and Thiers in Auvergne served as prominent hubs for cardmaking. Within France, this particular pattern stands as one of the oldest. In its earliest iterations, the kings and queens were named after historical figures (David, Cezar, Artus, Charles, Bersabee, Iudic, Rachel, Helene). However, this naming convention was eventually discontinued, except in the Paris pattern. The king of hearts is depicted holding an orb and a sword. The king of clubs is portrayed with a falcon perched on his left wrist, while the queen of spades cradles a lapdog under her right arm. The remaining three queens are depicted holding flowers. As for the four jacks, they resemble one another and wear helmets.

Auvergne pattern deck by Jean Goyrand (Lyon, 1675-1699). Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Above: cards from Auvergne pattern deck by Jean Goyrand (Lyon, 1675-1699). The jacks have the manufacturer's name, and two of them also show the manufacturer's trademark. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France • Cartes de tête issues d'un jeu au portrait d'Auvergne, Jean Goyrand, Lyon, 1675-1699

Anonymous Auvergne pattern pack, c.1700-1750.  Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Above: cards from anonymous Auvergne pattern pack, c.1700-1750. Stencil-coloured woodcut. The jack of clubs may have had a trademark in the oval frame, which has been removed. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France • Cartes de tête d'un jeu au portrait d'Auvergne

French-suited cards (spades, diamonds, clubs and hearts) have infuenced or been copied in playing card designs around the world. For further discussion of the origins of the French regional patterns, see Ken Lodge’s blog page 61 and page 62

Further References

Mann, Sylvia: Collecting Playing Cards, Arco Publications, 1966

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

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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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