The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published September 09, 2010 Updated June 07, 2023

Dieudonné & Cie Aluette

Aluette playing cards manufactured by Dieudonné & Cie, Angers (France), early 20th century.

France Luxembourg Dieudonné Aluette Add to Collection

Aluette playing cards

manufactured by Dieudonné & Cie, Angers (France), early 20th century.

Aluette is a card game popular in Brittany and the West coast of France, usually played with a special pack the design of which is descended from Archaic Franco-Spanish models which were also used in France. The cards have Spanish suit symbols, the courts have become somewhat stylised and many of the numeral cards contain additional decorative motifs or embellishments which were incorporated by earlier manufacturers or are related to the game-play. Traditional (or archaic) features include a kissing couple on the Five of Coins (once the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella) and a naked child on the Ace of Swords. The Cavalier of Coins is shown in partial back-view.  See also → Lequart Aluette   Dieudonne Catalanes   France-Cartes Aluette 1976

Aluette playing cards by Dieudonné & Cie

Above: Aluette playing cards by Dieudonné & Cie, Angers (France).


Some History

In around 1754 Jean Dieudonné (c.1720-1795) relocated from Metz in France to Grevenmacher, in eastern Luxembourg, near the border with Germany. In that same year, being a widower, he re-married Marie Elisabeth Lejeune, a merchant’s daughter. After launching his new business and building it up, he successfully become head of a dynasty of cardmakers. After Jean Dieudonné's death the business was managed by his widow, Marie Elisabeth Lejeune.

2 cards by Mathias Dieudonné the elder, before 1840

Above: 2 cards by Mathias Dieudonné the elder, before 1840.

reproduction of pack by Antoine Dieudonné, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg, c1850

Above: reproduction of pack by Antoine Dieudonné, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg, c1850.

The history of the firm is closely linked to the political changes that have marked its existence. Thus, following the French Revolution and the annexation of Luxembourg in 1795, it was forbidden to represent crowned heads on playing cards, and when in 1797 the French government introduced the tax on card games, it took all the commercial intelligence of the Dieudonnés to ensure the survival of the company. Several sons and grandsons became cardmakers thereby continuing the family name (Georges (1759-1828), Jean II (1764-1793), Mathias I (1768-1840), Mathias II (1795-after c.1840) and Antoine Dieudonné (1789/1802-1864)).

Cremers (1994, p.63) suggests that Jean Dieudonné may have learned his trade at Metz but been forced into exile by the strict tax regulations in France. His move to Gravenmacher may have been in order to avail himself of paper supplies, materials and clients in the Rhine valley area, accessible via the Moselle river. The products of the Dieudonné factory were mainly intended for the foreign market, the tax advantages in Luxembourg creating a context favourable for this flourishing craft. Seeking government tax concessions, Dieudonné claimed to be the sole supplier of playing cards to the inhabitants of Luxembourg. The successors of Jean Dieudonné continued the manufacture in Grevenmacher until 1880, when Jean-Paul Dieudonné decided to abandon the production of cards in the township. Other branches of family descendents emigrated to France, Orleans and Angers, taking the business with them where it became known as Dieudonné et Cie.


uncoloured and stencil-coloured versions of Hamburg pattern by Dieudonné, c.1850

Above: uncoloured and stencil-coloured uncut sheets of the Hamburg pattern by Dieudonné (France), c.1850. In the coloured version, successive stencil colourings of pale blue, blue, yellow, red and black have been applied. The Hamburg pattern is based on the Paris pattern and was used in Germany and Scandinavia.


REFERENCES

Cremers, Filip: Kaartenmakers in Wallonië - Cartiers en Wallonie, Nationaal Museum van de Speelkaart, Turnhout, 1994

Kulturhuef Museum, Grevenmacher: the playing cards of Jean Dieudonné

avatar
1439 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 King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 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 Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 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.

2022 Jeu des 7 familles basques

Jeu des 7 familles basques

A Happy Families-type game from the Basque country, with designs by Soledad Bravi and Agathe de Las...

1985 Atout Cœur!

Atout Cœur!

Poster designs by children for an anti-smoking campaign in the Midi-Pyrenées region of France.

1985 Victor Hugo 1885-1985

Victor Hugo 1885-1985

Characters from novels by Victor Hugo marking the centenary of his death, as conceived by Dominique...

1985 Victor Hugo “L’homme qui rit”

Victor Hugo “L’homme qui rit”

Two different packs with costume designs for Victor Hugo plays, issued on the centenary of his deat...

2017 Les Beaux Étés

Les Beaux Étés

Comic book characters who lead mundane lives, with designs by Jordi Lafebre.

1770 Cartes enfantines

Cartes enfantines

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

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.