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Published June 04, 2023 Updated June 05, 2023

Jeu de cartes abécédaire

An educational card game designed by F. Séré and published by Lithographie Musicale de Boboeuf, Paris 1840.

1840 France Lithographie Musicale de Boboeuf F. Séré Education Illuminated Literature Add to Collection

This French educational card set incorporates a card for each letter of the alphabet, totaling 32 cards. Each card is adorned with intricate illuminations and floral decorations in shades of green, blue, red and gold. The illustrations feature amusing characters and vignettes that begin with the same letter as the card itself, for example, "C" for "chien" (dog). This engages the child's imagination so that the deck serves as an initial step towards learning spelling and reading. At the top of each card, there is a miniature playing card in the official Paris pattern.

Educational playing cards, in general, were primarily designed to facilitate the learning of various subjects, often targeting children. These cards typically include illustrations or information related to geography, history, mathematics, language and other educational topics. In the case of this particular deck, the focus is on promoting reading and literacy skills. These cards were utilised as interactive learning tools, enhancing engagement in the educational process. The inclusion of a miniature playing card may have been a deliberate design choice to introduce children to basic mathematical concepts associated with playing cards, such as the four suits, number sequences, and so on.

Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Jeu de cartes abécédaire, Paris 1840. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Above: Jeu de Cartes Abécédaire published by Lithographie Musicale de Boboeuf, rue Cadet 23, Paris, 1840. Total of 32 cards + rules in case; square corners; plain white backs; chromolithography; 8.6 x 5.7 cm. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France • Jeu de cartes abécédaire

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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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