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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.

Standard double-ended 'Paris' pattern by A. Camon & Cie, Marseille, second half of 19th century

We recently received an enquiry from a gentleman in Malta as follows: “over a decade ago I inherited from my ancestors a coloured deck of cards which were printed by Camoin & Co Marseille”. The enquirer wished to know the approximate date, value, etc. We gave our opinion and assumed that the matter was finished.

However, it turned out that the enquirer’s great grandfather had owned the cards as a young man. Like his father Lorenzo, he was in the Cotton Industry and used to trade with middle east countries especially Egypt. It is interesting to discover such personal details about the previous owner, his occupation and so on. The deck was inherited from ancestors, so now it has has a family history surrounding it. This reminds us of visiting a local history museum, where in a cabinet we might see some old things like a pipe, sewing implements, photographs. Personal details about the lives of the previous owners make it all so fascinating. With a family item like this the personal memories and sentimental values add a lot more than just material value.

Standard double-ended 'Paris' pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Marseille, second half of 19th century
Standard double-ended 'Paris' pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Marseille, second half of 19th century

Above: cards from deck of standard double-ended 'Paris' pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Marseille, second half of 19th century. Square corners, no index numbers. The reverse appears to be a random mechanical pattern. From the collection of Vincent Ellul.

Standard double-ended 'Paris' pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Marseille, second half of 19th century

Above: reverse of a foreign postcard sent to G.G. Fratelli Elull without a proper full address, postmark date 1908. But even without the full address the postcard was duly delivered to the mentioned brothers. G.& G. refers to Giuseppe and Guglielmo who had taken over their father’s business in the Cotton Industry. These envelopes were produced and printed in Milano Italy.

It was common at different times that the surname Ellul was spelt in different ways. Originally the surname was HEYLUL. Eventually the silent H was dropped and it became EYLUL. Then there were times that it was spelt without the Y and it became Elull. Nowadays the proper known surname is ELLUL. All images and notes courtesy Vincent Ellul.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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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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