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Published April 02, 2023 Updated April 02, 2023

Clavecin

Courts in 18th century costume, with designs by F.R. Gabiraud.

1960 France Catel & Farcy F.R. Gabiraud Fashion & Costume Add to Collection

As it says on the title card accompanying this pack, the double-ended courts look as if they have just stepped out of a work by the French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). They are all in 18th century costume. Soft colours have been used throughout. Though unnamed, the courts are almost certainly based on portraits of real people. All the pips are elongated. Decorated backs with a criss-cross pattern within a gold and grey-blue frame. Clavecin is the French word for harpsichord.

‘Clavecin’ playing cards with designs by F.R. Gabiraud, made by Catel et Farcy, France, c1960 ‘Clavecin’ playing cards with designs by F.R. Gabiraud, made by Catel et Farcy, France, c1960 ‘Clavecin’ playing cards with designs by F.R. Gabiraud, made by Catel et Farcy, France, c1960
‘Clavecin’ back design for Editions Rombaldi

Above: ‘Clavecin’ playing cards with designs by F.R. Gabiraud, made by Catel et Farcy, France, c1960. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 1 title card + 1 blank card in tuck box. Size: 57 x 87 mm.

A further edition of these cards was produced for Editions Rombaldi’s Le Club de la Femme, with a different back design (shown right) and less rounded corners.

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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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