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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, published by Jeux et Jouets Français. Paris, early 1900s.

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras card game published by J.J.F. (Jeux et Jouets Français, successors to Mauclair Dacier), Paris, early 1900s. Inspired by the comedy play by Eugéne Grangé & Lambert-Thiboust published in the 1860s, the main characters are the bride and groom, the notary and the mayor. The caricatures in the game give us a glimpse of life at the time.

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La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, Jeux et Jouets Français, Paris, early 1900s
La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, Jeux et Jouets Français, Paris, early 1900s La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, Jeux et Jouets Français, Paris, early 1900s La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, Jeux et Jouets Français, Paris, early 1900s
Jeux et Jouets Français 1904-1931

Above: La Mariée du Mardi-Gras card game published by Jeux et Jouets Français (successors to Mauclair Dacier), Paris, early 1900s.

The year 1904 saw the merger of game manufacturers Mauclair-Dacier, Simonin-Cuny, Wogue and Lévy and Perret Paul, with Delhaye Frères added in 1905. The new company "Jeux et Jouets Français" operated until 1931.