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Published October 12, 2017 Updated December 08, 2022

Rois de France

Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.

1644 France Italy Henri le Gras Solleone Stefano Della Bella Facsimiles & Replicas History Royalty Add to Collection
Cartes des Rois de France, Stefano della Bella (1610-1664), Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Above: frontispiece from Cartes des Rois de France by Stefano della Bella, Bibliothèque Nationale de France ark:/12148/bpt6k15187061

Stefano della Bella (1610-1664) etched a series of French educational packs which were sold by Henri le Gras in Paris, c.1644. The original frontispiece of Cartes des Rois de France is shown above. These cards have been imitated from time to time, sometimes published as a book, and also reproduced as a facsmile by Edizioni del Solleone in 1986.

An original version can be viewed online at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France here

Cartes des Rois de France, Stefano della Bella (1610-1664), Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Above: four cards from Cartes des Rois de France by Stefano della Bella for comparison with the facsimile shown below, Bibliothèque Nationale de France ark:/12148/bpt6k15187061


Facsmile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986

See the Info card

Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986 Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986 Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986 Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986

Above: cards from the facsimile edition of Cartes des Rois de France (1644) by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.

See also “Jeu de Géographie” by Stefano Della Bella, c.1644

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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