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Published February 15, 2024 Updated February 23, 2024

Le Giscarte

Le Giscarte political playing cards designed by Eddy Munerol, France, 1976.

1976 France Editions Arts et Lettres Eddy Munerol Political Satire Add to Collection

Designed by Eddy Munerol and published in 1976 by Editions Arts et Lettres, Nancy, this pack is subtitled “XX siecles d’histoire de France au travers d’un seul homme, en 54 cartes a jouer” (“20 centuries of French history through a single man, in 54 playing cards”). It features biting, satirical images of former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing (1926-2020), in the guises of the great men and women of French history (e.g. Napoleon III, Catherine de’ Medici, Madame de Pompadour, Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette). Although the subtitle refers to 54 cards, the pack consists of 52 cards, plus 3 Jokers, plus an extra information card.

The pack was published during the period of Giscard d’Estaing’s Presidency (1974-1981) and was banned as “offensive”. The ban was upheld by the court, and so had to be withdrawn from sale. See the box

Le Giscarte political playing cards designed by Eddy Munerol and published in 1976 Le Giscarte political playing cards designed by Eddy Munerol and published in 1976 Le Giscarte political playing cards designed by Eddy Munerol and published in 1976

Above: Le Giscarte political playing cards designed by Eddy Munerol and published in 1976 by Editions Arts et Lettres, Nancy, France.

Reference

Fournier Museum, Playing Cards II, France no. 528.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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