While it is commonly known that countries or nations may regard a particular saint as their “heavenly advocate” (e.g. England - Saint George; Wales - Saint David; Czech Republic - Saint Wenceslas), perhaps less well-known is the fact that many professions, crafts and activities also have a patron-saint or patroness saint as their heavenly protector.
This pack, published by Editions Dusserre, c. 1995 displays photographs, paintings or polychrome wood sculptures of saints on 48 of the 54 cards. The deuces and the two jokers list over 170 different trades or professions with the name (or names) of their patron saint(s). Several have more than one protector, depending on their town or region. So, Saint Balthazar is the patron saint of card players and manufacturers, Saint Jean Porte Latine of printers and booksellers. Clockmakers, florists, bankers, umbrella manufacturers, firefighters, tanners, wine merchants, clockmakers, and many others are listed. See the box►
Member since July 27, 2022
I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.
Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.
Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A political pack designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres.
Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.
Standard French cards but printed with fluorescent inks on a black background.
Free reinterpretation of the traditional Paris pattern courts by the artist Claude Weisbuch.
Publicity pack for the Campanile hotel and restaurant chain featuring French provincial costumes, wi...
“Les métiers et leurs protecteurs” playing cards published by Editions Dusserre, c. 1995.
Famous people associated with Nicolas Fouquet’s splendid château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.
French navigators and explorers on a promotional pack for the C.M.C.R shipping company.
Characters from the 2007 film Shrek the Third, a DreamWorks Animation production.
Advertising pack designed by James Hodges for a company specialising in regional cakes and biscuits....
Joan of Arc and her contemporaries in a colourful pack designed by Patrice Louis.
Typical costumes and views of Alsace together with lists of the principal sights.
Egg-shaped cards created by Rodolfo Krasno employing photographic images by Michel Leclerc.
French Cartomancy cards published by J. Gaudais; printed by Mansion, Paris, c.1830.
Costumes from four operas premiered at the Paris Opera between 1830 and 1840.
Honouring the bicentenary of the Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon flights in 1783.
A colourful pack aimed at children, with illustrations by Muriel Kerba.
Publicity pack for Gibert Jeune, the famous Parisian bookshop, with designs by James Hodges.
Costumes des Peuples Étrangers & Jeu d’Or dedicated to young people and likely used for games and fo...
“Le Nouvel Etteilla” cartomancy deck published in Paris by La Veuve Gueffier, 1806.
Révolution 1789-1989, celebrating the bicentenary of the French revolution, France, 1989
Scaramouche cartes à jouer with designs by Henri Favre, published by Le Triboulet, France.
Cyclists from the Domex-Weinmann team who took part in the 1989 Tour de France.
‘Cartes Catalanes’ published by Fossorier, Amar et Cie (Paris)
Bicycle Blue Collar / White Collar playing cards, USA, 2014.
Elegant fashion costume deck published by O. Gibert, Paris c.1860.
An educational card game designed by F. Séré and published by Lithographie Musicale de Boboeuf, Par...