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Published May 12, 2024 Updated May 12, 2024

Cartes enfantines

Miniature 18th century Paris pattern cards for children, with decorated aces and 2s.

1770 France Paumier Childhood Miniature Paris Pattern Add to Collection

It is not known precisely when the first playing cards were made specifically for children. However, a number of manufacturers, notably in France and in Germany, are known to have produced cards for children during the second half of the 18th century. Some of these have survived in sheet form.

The set shown here uses standard Paris pattern courts of the period but with added decoration: the aces all have garlands, while the 2s all include a bird. Such decoration was often found on cards of this type. Mottoes popular since the reign of Louis XIII appear on all the aces: “Vive le Roi”, “Vive la Reine”, “J’aime l’Amour”, “Et la Cour”. At the foot of the Jack of Clubs is the maker’s name, Paumier. This is most likely to be Mathieu Paumier who is recorded in D’Allemagne [1] as being active in Paris in 1761.

Cartes Enfantines made by Mathieu(?) Paumier, Paris, c1770

Cartes Enfantines made by Mathieu(?) Paumier, Paris, c1770. 52 cards. Size: 36 x 51 mm. The cards are stencil-coloured except for the outlines of the courts, the pips on the black suits and the outlines of the pips on the red suits. They have square corners and blank backs.

I was pleased to acquire these children's cards recently. They don't appear to be very common, especially in good condition.

Reference

1. D’Allemagne, Henry-René. Les Cartes à Jouer du XIVe au XXe siècle. Vol. I, pp 274-280.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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