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Published February 02, 2023 Updated February 03, 2023

Jeu de Cartes Éclats

A kaleidoscope of form and colour encapsulated in a contemporary pack of playing cards.

2002 France Christian Chabert Add to Collection
jeu de cartes Éclats published by Sage comme une Image, France, 2002

The French word “éclats” can be translated in a number of ways – flashes, splinters, bursts, etc. All are appropriate to describe this pack which was the result of an encounter between a passionate collector of playing cards, Jean-Paul Tarantola, and a passionate artist and illustrator, Christian Chabert. Together they have merged their ideas into a set of images where form, space, and air are combined in one kaleidoscopic swirl of colour and movement. Some of the edgy and sharp angles are reminiscent of the work of James Hodges but here every card has a different illustration, not just the court cards. For this reviewer, the least satisfactory element is the faces on the court cards – they seem not to fit comfortably, as if the artist would have been happier creating totally abstract designs. The back design features two face masks surrounded by ribbons in blue and white, while the back design of the extra card* is a colourful mélange of letters forming “Éclats!”. There is a paper wrapper with additional text in French and an unusual box. The box is signed by the artist and both the box and the wrapper are numbered, this being a limited edition of 300 packs. See the fold-out box

jeu de cartes Éclats published by Sage comme une Image, France, 2002 jeu de cartes Éclats published by Sage comme une Image, France, 2002 jeu de cartes Éclats published by Sage comme une Image, France, 2002

Above: jeu de cartes Éclats published by ‘Sage comme une Image’, France, 2002. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 1 extra card in a paper wrapper, in a fold-out box. Size: 61 x 90.5 mm.

* The second back design is only used on the back of the extra/title card and on the back of the box.

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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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