The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published August 10, 2023 Updated August 15, 2023

Le Petit Oracle des Dames

Le Petit Oracle des Dames ou Récréation des Curieux, Paris, 1807.

1807 France Saint-Sauveur Veuve Gueffier Cartomancy Etteilla Oracle Add to Collection

This delightful 42-card oracle deck was published in Paris in 1807. It incorporates a mixture of single-ended and double-ended cards with fortune-telling titles, containing cartomancy and tarot imagery, along with miniature French-suited playing cards and the occasional astrological symbol here and there. The repertoire of images is derived in part from tarot allegories, but also includes other fortune-telling imagery (cupid, a fair-haired woman, theological virtues, jealousy, robbery, prison, etc), all mixed together. The sequence of cards is numbered 1 - 42, but the miniature playing cards and images are randomly allocated throughout the deck.

Le Petit Oracle des Dames ou Récréation des Curieux published by la Veuve Gueffier, Paris, 1807. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France Le Petit Oracle des Dames ou Récréation des Curieux published by la Veuve Gueffier, Paris, 1807. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Above: Le Petit Oracle des Dames ou Récréation des Curieux published by la Veuve Gueffier, Relieur, rue Galande no.61, Paris, 1807. 42 cards + booklet, stencil-coloured etching; 9 x 5.8 cm. Square corners, plain backs. The designs appear have been published earlier by Grasset de Saint-Sauveur in 1797, and to derive elements from a fortune-telling pack of 1788 and partly from Etteilla’s tarot pack. Source of images: gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France • Le Petit Oracle des dames ou Récréation des curieux

The 64-page booklet contains an advert for a book titled “Le Véritable Etteila” ou l’Art de tirer les Cartes. Etteilla (Jean-Baptiste Alliette 1738-1791) had by this time gained a reputation as the grand-father of fortune telling, having published several books on the subject in the 1780s, and a cartomantic tarot pack (Grand Etteilla or Tarot « Égyptien »), but apart from those tarot allegories derived from his pack, the rest of this deck has nothing to do with Etteilla. After his death a nunber of cartomancy decks were associated posthumously with Etteilla and this has led to some confusion as to which ones, if any, were endorsed by him.

Le Petit Oracle des Dames ou Récréation des Curieux published by la Veuve Gueffier, Paris, 1807. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Above: the first three pages of the booklet which accompanies the Petit Oracle des Dames.

Mme Gueffier also published “Le Nouvel Etteilla” in 1806.

References

Another example of this pack can be seen at the British Museum website: Museum number 1982,U.4592.1-42

Alliette, Jean-Baptiste: Manière de se récréer avec le jeu de cartes nommées tarots, Amsterdam & Paris, 1783 • Manière de se récréer avec le jeu de cartes nommées tarots

Depaulis, Thierry: Tarot, jeu et magie, exposition catalogue, Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, 1984 (no.132).

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 King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 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.

2022 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...

1985 Atout Cœur!

Atout Cœur!

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

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.

1770 Cartes enfantines

Cartes enfantines

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

1997 Claude Weisbuch

Claude Weisbuch

Free reinterpretation of the traditional Paris pattern courts by the artist Claude Weisbuch.

1985 Hôtels-Grils Campanile

Hôtels-Grils Campanile

Publicity pack for the Campanile hotel and restaurant chain featuring French provincial costumes, wi...

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards published by Merrimack Publishing Corporation, USA.

1980 MISSCŒUR

MISSCŒUR

Elongated cards from France with a fourth court card, a Miss.

1965 Jeu des Copains

Jeu des Copains

French popular singing stars of the 1960s.

1825 Cartomancy deck by Johann Ernst Backofen

Cartomancy deck by Johann Ernst Backofen

German-suited Cartomancy deck published by Johann Ernst Backofen, Nürnberg.

Dessoris

Dessoris

Spanish-suited cards by Dessoris, Perpignan, which anticipate the French Catalan pattern.

1760 Lyon pattern by Michel Ressy

Lyon pattern by Michel Ressy

Lyon pattern by Michel Ressy, c.1760.

1995 Les métiers et leurs protecteurs

Les métiers et leurs protecteurs

“Les métiers et leurs protecteurs” playing cards published by Editions Dusserre, c. 1995.