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Published January 20, 2013 Updated June 10, 2023

Benoist Laius

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

1710 France Laius History Spanish National Pattern Spanish Suited Add to Collection

Spanish National Pattern made in South France, early 18th century

Benoist Laius is believed to have worked in Montpellier between 1706 - 1738. Montpellier is located on the south coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea. The pack could possibly have been carried to Spain by French troops supporting Felipe V in Barcelona in 1714.

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

Spanish National pattern by Benoist Laius, Montpellier, 1706-1725

Above: cards from a 48-card deck in the 'Spanish National' pattern, manufactured by Benoist Laius, Montpellier (France), sometime between 1706-1725. The maker's name or initials appears on several cards. Woodblock and stencil printing technology. There are no 'pintas' or breaks in the framelines to denote the suits, as is usual in Spanish playing cards. The backs are plain white.

There is no Bourbon escutcheon on the Spanish arms on the Ace of Coins (the first Bourbon King in Spain was 1700). Possibly the woodblocks were out-of-date, or the woodcutters supplied unnamed blocks so that the new owner could print their own name or initials in the empty spaces. The Sota of Coins holds a horn in his right hand. Almost identical packs were being produced by other makers, such as Jacques Sellon, Marseille, c.1710 or J. Coissieux, Romans in c.1725.


REFERENCES

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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