Mauclair Dacier ‘Sept Familles’ c.1890
The French game of “Jeu de Sept Familles” is first known from 1876 designed by André Gill, a cartoonist. The game was intended more for adults at first rather than children. The families consisted of Father, Mother, Son, Daughter Valet and Cook. They were also definitely not tradesmen as most of the Happy Families packs were. M Gill went for Doctor, Lawyer, General, Minister etc although there were a few unsavoury characters thrown in too, like a Smuggler. Pretty soon the families became more like the ones we are familiar with and had comic names with a connection to their trades.
This “Jeu de Sept Familles” was produced by Mauclair Dacier in the late 19th century. Mauclair was an employee of Watilliaux (who produced games from 1874 to 1908). When he left and set up his own business in 1887 he became a strong rival. By 1904 he was taken over by JJF (Jeux et Jouets Français)
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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