The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published May 26, 2023 Updated August 15, 2023

Jeu de Cartomancie pour l’amusement des Dames

Early French Cartomancy deck "for the amusement of Ladies" but also referred to as "Jeu divinatoire révolutionnaire", 1788.

1788 France Cartomancy Myths & Legends Tarot Add to Collection

This early French cartomancy deck was published in 1788, and contains 66 cards with a variety of everyday figures, domestic scenes, as well as mythological figures. The titles of the cards are inscribed in brown ink. Although the set is described as "Cartomancy game for the amusement of Ladies", it is more or less contemporary with Antoine Court de Gébelin’s claims for the Egyptian origins of Tarot (1781) and also Jean-Baptiste Alliette’s book about tarot divination (1770) and his series of tarot decks for that purpose, which aroused more serious interest in these topics. Cartomancy was at this time evolving into a new form of parlour entertainment, which progressed into Mlle. Lenormand decks of the 19th century, with which people began to enquire about their destinies.

Almost 250 years later, today's vast selection of cartomancy, oracle and tarot decks offer countless new creative ways to explore your identity and see what your luck might be in the future.

Jeu de Cartomancie pour l'amusement des Dames, 1788. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF Jeu de Cartomancie pour l'amusement des Dames, 1788. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF Jeu de Cartomancie pour l'amusement des Dames, 1788. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF Jeu de Cartomancie pour l'amusement des Dames, 1788. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Above: cards from early French Cartomancy deck from 1788 titled “Jeu de Cartomancie pour l'amusement des Dames" (also referred to as Jeu divinatoire révolutionnaire"), total 66 cards: intaglio engraving, hand-coloured; 8.8 x 5.9 cm. White backs. The titles of the cards are inscribed in brown ink. The publication of the game was announced in the Gazette de France, September 30, 1788. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

References

• Bibliothèque nationale de France Jeu de Cartomancie pour l'amusement des Dames
• Jean-Baptiste Alliette, “Etteilla, ou Manière de se recréer avec un jeu de cartes”, Amsterdam, 1770
• Antoine Court de Gébelin, “Le Monde primitif analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne”, Paris, 1777-1781.

avatar
1439 Articles

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder 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.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Jeu des 7 familles basques

Jeu des 7 familles basques

A Happy Families-type game from the Basque country, with designs by Soledad Bravi and Agathe de Las...

2023 A Million Dollar Tarot: The Alleyman’s Tarot

A Million Dollar Tarot: The Alleyman’s Tarot

The Alleyman’s Tarot successfully raised $1,404,172 on Kickstarter. This unique 133-card deck includ...

1985 Atout Cœur!

Atout Cœur!

Poster designs by children for an anti-smoking campaign in the Midi-Pyrenées region of France.

2022 Quên Tarot

Quên Tarot

A mystical voyage of love and self-discovery created by Duy Khánh Võ.

1985 Victor Hugo 1885-1985

Victor Hugo 1885-1985

Characters from novels by Victor Hugo marking the centenary of his death, as conceived by Dominique...

1985 Victor Hugo “L’homme qui rit”

Victor Hugo “L’homme qui rit”

Two different packs with costume designs for Victor Hugo plays, issued on the centenary of his deat...

2017 Les Beaux Étés

Les Beaux Étés

Comic book characters who lead mundane lives, with designs by Jordi Lafebre.

2021 Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Facsimile edition produced by Morena Poltronieri & Ernesto Fazioli of Museo Internazionale dei Taroc...

1996 I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

A less-than-serious set of major arcana on a gourmet theme, with designs by Cosimo Musio.

1770 Cartes enfantines

Cartes enfantines

Miniature 18th century Paris pattern cards for children, with decorated aces and 2s.

2022 Tarot for Baby

Tarot for Baby

This board book simplifies tarot archetypes into accessible affirmations for young children.

Animal Tarot by Johann Jobst Forster

Animal Tarot by Johann Jobst Forster

French-suited 78-card animal tarot deck of the Bavarian type.

2013 Les plaques émaillées d’Antoine Vollon

Les plaques émaillées d’Antoine Vollon

54 different enamel plaques depicting silk manufacture, by the Lyon artist Antoine Vollon.

2002 Valhalla spillekort

Valhalla spillekort

Characters from the Valhalla comics, designed by Peter Madsen, as commemorated on a Danish stamp.

1984 Le Jeu des Musiciens

Le Jeu des Musiciens

Artist Silvia Maddonni’s gently humorous take on musicians and their instruments.

1995 Les Saints Guérisseurs et Protecteurs

Les Saints Guérisseurs et Protecteurs

Healing and patron saints portrayed in paintings, manuscripts, altarpieces and statuary.

2001 Kuzco, l’empereur mégalo

Kuzco, l’empereur mégalo

Notched cards featuring toys representing characters from the Disney film Kuzco, as offered by McDon...

1964 Monuments de Paris

Monuments de Paris

‘Monuments de Paris’ souvenir playing cards produced by Heraclio Fournier, c.1964.

1988 Lorilleux International

Lorilleux International

Promotional pack for Lorilleux International’s Lotus inks, with designs by James Hodges.

2021 Les Tontons du Rock

Les Tontons du Rock

Caricatures of rock and pop stars in black and white by Charles Da Costa.

1745 Burgundy pattern

Burgundy pattern

The old Burgundy (or Burgundian) pattern by Nicolas Chenevet, Dijon.

1980 Zodiaque

Zodiaque

“Les Signes du Zodiaque” playing cards designed by Youdi des Aubrys.

1981 British Monarchs

British Monarchs

Commemorating the royal wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer on the 29th

1991 54 Affiches Retro

54 Affiches Retro

54 different old French advertising posters, mainly for travel and health products.

1989 Il Vostro Destino

Il Vostro Destino

Italian fortune-telling pack produced by Viassone and later by Masenghini.

1980 Jeu de la Belle Epoque

Jeu de la Belle Epoque

Jeu de la Belle Epoque, remembering a golden age of optimism, progress and elegance.

1985 Correspondances

Correspondances

‘Correspondances’ depicting the 52 transfer stations of the Paris Métropolitain, France, 1985.

1987 Jeu Gothique

Jeu Gothique

‘Jeu Gothique’ illustrating the Gothic period in France, published by Editions Dusserre.

1978 Jeu Bonaparte

Jeu Bonaparte

Jeu Bonaparte depicting the extended family of Napoleon Bonaparte, France, 1978

1989 Jeu du Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française

Jeu du Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française

Pack created by Yannick Pennanguer commemorating the bicentenary of the French Revolution and the ce...

1988 Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens

Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens

Reproduction of Jeu des Bonnets Phrygiens relating to the Phrygian cap (or liberty cap), France, 198...

1977 Jeu de la V<sup>me</sup>

Jeu de la Vme

A political pack designed by Pino Zac and published in 1977 by Editions Arts et Lettres.

Calon Arang • Калон Аранг - Бали

Calon Arang • Калон Аранг - Бали

Calon Arang, a figure from 12th-century Javanese and Balinese folklore known as a witch skilled in b...

1983 Jeu des Médecins

Jeu des Médecins

Cartoons of doctors and nurses by Pino Zac, published by B.P. Grimaud in 1983.

1962 Jeu Boléro

Jeu Boléro

Sweeping, semi-abstract designs by J.L. Jolin in red and black only.

1976 Le Giscarte

Le Giscarte

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

1985 I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

Etchings of cats on a set of major arcana created by Evelyne Nicod.

1968 Knoll International

Knoll International

Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.

1960 Cartes à Jouer Fluorescentes

Cartes à Jouer Fluorescentes

Standard French cards but printed with fluorescent inks on a black background.

1980 SEMP playing cards

SEMP playing cards

Modified Anglo-American courts advertising a French medical publishing company.