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French Costumes

The French taste for elegant, well engraved costume playing cards started during the early 19th century. O. Gibert of Paris produced a series of such fashion packs, or packs depicting historical characters.

O. Gibert, Paris: French Costumes, c.1848

Elegant, romantic and sophisticated!

The French taste for elegant, well engraved costume playing cards started during the early 19th century. O. Gibert of Paris produced a series of such fashion packs, or packs depicting historical characters. Being hand coloured, there was no consistency from deck to deck. Each version surpasses the last one in exquisiteness, delicacy and charm.

French Costume playing cards published by O. Gibert, Paris, c.1848

Above: French Costume playing cards published by O. Gibert, Paris, c.1848. The cards measure approximately 2 1/4 X 3 1/2 inches. Because they were hand made, they are not all exactly the same size, some cards vary by just a tiny bit. The backs are overall plain pink or blue. Images courtesy Rod Starling.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator 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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