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Published June 04, 2022 Updated June 04, 2023

J. Deluy c.1490s

Archaic Spanish-suited cards produced by J. Deluy c.1490s.

1490 France Spain Deluy Archaic Patterns Spanish Suited Add to Collection

The cardmaker’s name can be read on the knave of cups. The pack contains standing kings and queens (queens instead of cavaliers which are usually found in Spanish-suited packs), and the queen of coins carries a pet dog. If the French suit system was invented in circa 1480, the question arises what type of cards were the French using before that invention? If the answer is cards like these, then Spanish-suited cards were not exclusively used in Spain. France shared certain territories with Spain during the XV century and before. This would also be consistent with the fact that Spanish-suited cards are still used in certain parts of France for the game of Aluette.

Archaic Spanish-suited cards produced by J. Deluy c.1490s Archaic Spanish-suited cards produced by J. Deluy c.1490s

Above: 2 fragments of uncut proof sheets of archaic Spanish-suited cards produced by J. Deluy c.1490s. Stencil coloured woodcut, no border-breaks. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France • Planches de cartes d'un jeu à enseignes latines

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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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