The famous novel 'The Three Musketeers' by Alexandre Dumas was first published in France in July 1844. It is a historical adventure set in the period 1625-1628 when Louis XIII was king of France.
This pack of playing cards which was produced by B.P.Grimaud of Paris in about 1860 has colourful illustrations of all the main characters from the book on the court cards. The pack is named 'Costumes du Temp de Louis 13. Les Mousquetaires' as shown on the wrapper and is the more luxurious version with rounded gold corners. Square cornered versions were also produced. There is a Saxony tax stamp on the ace of hearts from the town of Leipzig.
Notice the name 'Grimaud' on the jack of clubs. This not the name of the printer, but the name of a character in the book who was the servant of Athos and who communicated with his master only in sign language.
I have in my collection a hand coloured ink drawing of the king of clubs which may be an original design. I have not been able to verify this however. I have shown it together with the playing card at the end of the article.
Below: the wrapper and reverse of the cards.
Below: coloured ink drawing of the king of clubs and the playing card for comparison
All cards shown are from the collection of Paul Symons ©
Member since February 01, 2016
I'm British but I have now lived in the Netherlands for more than 50 years and am still enjoying every minute of it. I started collecting playing cards in the early 1980’s after speaking with my neighbour who was at that time a croupier in a casino. I started with just collecting jokers, but that soon led me to complete packs of cards and eventually to specialising in old and antique playing cards, particularly those of C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt, Germany. I am presently the Dutch representative of the I.P.C.S. and the auctioneer at the IPCS conventions.
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Psychedelic designs promoting Louis De Poortere, a company selling carpets and rugs.
Typical costumes and views of Alsace together with lists of the principal sights.