The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published December 27, 2023 Updated December 27, 2023

Dessoris

Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, which anticipate the French Catalan pattern.

France Dessoris French Catalan Pattern Add to Collection

The Dessoris cardmaking dynasty was founded by François Dessoris who settled in Pepignan in 1805-1806. Apprenticed in a playing card factory in Montpellier, he married the daughter of the owner: Marie-Antoinette Boissonnade. He then inherited the family business which he transferred to Perpignan. He died in 1843 and his son Joseph Dessoris succeeded him. He in turn disappeared in 1845 and it was the women who managed the business until the end of the 19th century (Jean-Pierre Garrigue, 2014).

The two packs shown below, by Dessoris in Perpignan, derive from the old Spanish National pattern, but with local idiosyncrasies which later emeged as the French Catalan pattern used in the French Pyrenees region. In both examples the ace of coins has the arms of Spain with scrolls reading "Dessoris a Perpignan", while "Dessoris, France" is printed on every court card. Also a cat motif is seen on the fours of coins. In the second example several court cards have moved away from the Spanish National pattern into poses found in the French Catalan pattern. In both examples there are small index numbers in the corners and border breaks, or pintas to indicate the suits.

Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. Backs plain, 48 cards, hand-coloured woodcut. © The Trustees of the British Museum • Museum number 1896,0501.843


Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, 19th century, 48 cards, hand-coloured woodcut. © The Trustees of the British Museum • Museum number 1896,0501.842

References

British Museum: Museum number 1896,0501.843 and 1896,0501.842

Jean-Pierre Garrigue, the History of Catalan Playing Cards, online summary: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

avatar
1,436 Articles

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.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

2013 Les plaques émaillées d’Antoine Vollon

Les plaques émaillées d’Antoine Vollon

54 different enamel plaques depicting silk manufacture, by the Lyon artist Antoine Vollon.

1984 Le Jeu des Musiciens

Le Jeu des Musiciens

Artist Silvia Maddonni’s gently humorous take on musicians and their instruments.

1995 Les Saints Guérisseurs et Protecteurs

Les Saints Guérisseurs et Protecteurs

Healing and patron saints portrayed in paintings, manuscripts, altarpieces and statuary.

2001 Kuzco, l’empereur mégalo

Kuzco, l’empereur mégalo

Notched cards featuring toys representing characters from the Disney film Kuzco, as offered by McDon...

1964 Monuments de Paris

Monuments de Paris

‘Monuments de Paris’ souvenir playing cards produced by Heraclio Fournier, c.1964.

1988 Lorilleux International

Lorilleux International

Promotional pack for Lorilleux International’s Lotus inks, with designs by James Hodges.

2021 Les Tontons du Rock

Les Tontons du Rock

Caricatures of rock and pop stars in black and white by Charles Da Costa.

1745 Burgundy pattern

Burgundy pattern

The old Burgundy (or Burgundian) pattern by Nicolas Chenevet, Dijon.

1980 Zodiaque

Zodiaque

“Les Signes du Zodiaque” playing cards designed by Youdi des Aubrys.

1981 British Monarchs

British Monarchs

Commemorating the royal wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer on the 29th

1991 54 Affiches Retro

54 Affiches Retro

54 different old French advertising posters, mainly for travel and health products.

1980 Jeu de la Belle Epoque

Jeu de la Belle Epoque

Jeu de la Belle Epoque, remembering a golden age of optimism, progress and elegance.

1985 Correspondances

Correspondances

‘Correspondances’ depicting the 52 transfer stations of the Paris Métropolitain, France, 1985.

1987 Jeu Gothique

Jeu Gothique

‘Jeu Gothique’ illustrating the Gothic period in France, published by Editions Dusserre.

1978 Jeu Bonaparte

Jeu Bonaparte

Jeu Bonaparte depicting the extended family of Napoleon Bonaparte, France, 1978

1989 Jeu du Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française

Jeu du Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française

Pack created by Yannick Pennanguer commemorating the bicentenary of the French Revolution and the ce...

1988 Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens

Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens

Reproduction of Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens relating to the Phrygian cap (or liberty cap), France, 198...

1977 Jeu de la V<sup>me</sup>

Jeu de la Vme

A political pack designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres.

1983 Jeu des Médecins

Jeu des Médecins

Cartoons of doctors and nurses by Pino Zac, published by B.P. Grimaud in 1983.

1962 Jeu Boléro

Jeu Boléro

Sweeping, semi-abstract designs by J.L. Jolin in red and black only.

1976 Le Giscarte

Le Giscarte

Le Giscarte political playing cards designed by Eddy Munerol, France, 1976.

1968 Knoll International

Knoll International

Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.

1960 Cartes à Jouer Fluorescentes

Cartes à Jouer Fluorescentes

Standard French cards but printed with fluorescent inks on a black background.

1980 SEMP playing cards

SEMP playing cards

Modified Anglo-American courts advertising a French medical publishing company.

1997 Claude Weisbuch

Claude Weisbuch

Free reinterpretation of the traditional Paris pattern courts by the artist Claude Weisbuch.

1985 Hôtels-Grils Campanile

Hôtels-Grils Campanile

Publicity pack for the Campanile hotel and restaurant chain featuring French provincial costumes, wi...

1980 MISSCŒUR

MISSCŒUR

Elongated cards from France with a fourth court card, a Miss.

1965 Jeu des Copains

Jeu des Copains

French popular singing stars of the 1960s.

Dessoris

Dessoris

Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, which anticipate the French Catalan pattern.

1760 Lyon pattern by Michel Ressy

Lyon pattern by Michel Ressy

Lyon pattern by Michel Ressy, c.1760.

1995 Les métiers et leurs protecteurs

Les métiers et leurs protecteurs

“Les métiers et leurs protecteurs” playing cards published by Editions Dusserre, c. 1995.

1994 Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Famous people associated with Nicolas Fouquet’s splendid château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.

1975 Compagnie Maritime des Chargeurs Réunis

Compagnie Maritime des Chargeurs Réunis

French navigators and explorers on a promotional pack for the C.M.C.R shipping company.

2007 Shrek the Third playing cards

Shrek the Third playing cards

Characters from the 2007 film Shrek the Third, a DreamWorks Animation production.

1983 Jeu de cartes Armelle

Jeu de cartes Armelle

Advertising pack designed by James Hodges for a company specialising in regional cakes and biscuits....

1976 Jeanne d’Arc, “La pucelle d’Orléans”

Jeanne d’Arc, “La pucelle d’Orléans”

Joan of Arc and her contemporaries in a colourful pack designed by Patrice Louis.

1988 Costumes Alsaciens

Costumes Alsaciens

Typical costumes and views of Alsace together with lists of the principal sights.

1981 Les “Œufs de Cartes” de Krasno

Les “Œufs de Cartes” de Krasno

Egg-shaped cards created by Rodolfo Krasno employing photographic images by Michel Leclerc.

1830 French Cartomancy cards, c.1830

French Cartomancy cards, c.1830

French Cartomancy cards published by J. Gaudais; printed by Mansion, Paris, c.1830.

1973 Le Jeu des Peintres

Le Jeu des Peintres

Modern designs by 19 contemporary artists including Peynet and Hodges.