The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published October 18, 2017 Updated May 10, 2023

Jeu de la Géographie

“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella and published in c.1644.

1644 France Henry le Gras Lo Scarabeo Stefano Della Bella Education Facsimiles & Replicas Geography History Add to Collection

Extremely scarce “Jeu de Géographie” playing cards, one of several educational sets etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644. The cards bear personifications of countries or continents, with allegorical figures. In this set the suit symbols have not been included, but the intention was that the four suits represent the four known continents: hearts are Europe; diamomds are Africa; clubs are America, and spades are Asia.

Each card has on its upper half a design or figure in a national costume, emblematic of a geographical division of the globe. Below are the title and an account of the place represented. The supposition that these cards could be used for ordinary play is illusory. Their primary purpose is instructive.

“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644

Above: “Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644. The title card bears a planisphere. The cards are unsuited but with indices 1 to 10, the court cards are not indexed. All cards are hand coloured on pasteboard. Total 52 cards + title card. The cards in this set have had borders trimmed and were mounted and bound in Red Morocco leather.

REFERENCES and CREDITS

Images and notes kindly contributed by John Sings - www.gamesetal.net

See also: Bibliothèque Nationale de France

See also: Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Facsimile Edition by Lo Scarabeo, 2004

A facsimile edition was produced by Lo Scarabeo in 2004 in which suit signs and indices are included. See the Box

“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published Lo Scarabeo, 2004

Above: cards from facsimile edition titled ‘Le Roi Soleil’ published by Lo Scarabeo, Torino, 2004. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

avatar
19 Articles

By Ann and John Sings

Member since December 22, 2021

Articles and contributions by Ann & John Sings. Visit Games et al


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 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 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 Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

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

2021 Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Facsimile edition produced by Morena Poltronieri & Ernesto Fazioli of Museo Internazionale dei Taroc...

1996 I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

A less-than-serious set of major arcana on a gourmet theme, with designs by Cosimo Musio.

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.

1991 Le Roi bridge

Le Roi bridge

Reprint of a Piatnik (Budapest) pack of 1927 with Hungarian historical figures and scenic aces.

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.

2003 The Lovers playing cards

The Lovers playing cards

Reproductions of old postcards with romantic messages for Valentine’s Day.

2003 Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards designed to reinforce the “Think and Be Safe” concept.

1968 Knoll International

Knoll International

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

1978 Carte Osteologiche

Carte Osteologiche

Skulls and bones of all descriptions have become the suits and pips in this 40-card pack from Italy....

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.

2002 Portrait de Fribourg

Portrait de Fribourg

Fine reproduction of a Fribourg pattern pack, originally by Jean-Jacques Burdel.

1997 Claude Weisbuch

Claude Weisbuch

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

1987 Postgeschichte

Postgeschichte

A celebration of different postal systems in Germany from 1630 to 1850, with designs by Volker Hartm...

2010 FDR New Deal Deck

FDR New Deal Deck

Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.

1985 Hôtels-Grils Campanile

Hôtels-Grils Campanile

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

1970 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Strange facts from Robert Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ books, in the form of cartoons.

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.

52 Ways to talk about adoption

52 Ways to talk about adoption

‘52 Ways to talk about adoption’ family-centred playing cards produced by the Center for Adoption Su...