17-18th Century French Plain Back Playing Cards Paris Style - Jean Lebahy c.1670-1720
This is 52-card reproduction deck of French playing cards originally produced between 1700-1720 by Jean Lebahy in Caen, France. Extant examples of his work exist in both the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the British Museum, and the set has been written about in numerous anthologies and card catalogs.
A description in William Hughes Wiltshire, A Descriptive Catalog of Playing Cards... 1876 describes them as: "Eight figure cards from a numeral series of the suits coeurs, carreaux, treses, and piques. The cards present are the king and queen of coeurs, the king and queen of carreaux, another king and queen, and two valets. The kings and queen of coeurs and carreaux have the suit marks, the other cards are without them. All the pieces are coloured. The king of coeurs is entitled Charles, the queen of coeurs, Judic, the king ofcarreaux, Cezar, the queen of carreaux, Rachel. Another king is David, a queen Argine, one valet is named Hogier, while the other has the address of " Jean Lebahy." On the head of the partisan borne by the latter valet are the initials, J. L.
These cards are in the traditional Paris style which were common in France at the end of the 17th Century and throughout the 18th Century. Known as the "Paris Style", theses cards were primarily produced in the north of France including the towns of St. Omer, Pas de Calais, Caen, Rouen, Brest, Nantes on the west coast, Tours, Troyes and Lille. The British Museum states that the extant example was estimated to have been printed between 1670-1720.
The playing cards of this region, particularly those of Rouen, were exported all over Europe. They were especially popular in Flanders, but were also well known in Spain, Russia, England, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.
The King of Hearts has an imperial eagle hidden in the folds of his cloak. The King of Clubs is accompanied by a small animal which is said may be a lion, or possibly a bear. Each of the queens hold a flower.
Each of the pip cards do not have associated numbers, which was common for cards in the period. These cards also are "plain backs" - meaning that they were printed on "plain back" stock and do not have designs.
As a faithful reproduction, these cards are printed on "non-plasticized" plain back natural acid and lignin free card stock. Also included is an additional Fleur-de-Lis card which can be used as a joker or wildcard.
The size of the cards are similar to the historical originals, measuring approx. 3.5" x 2.25" making them slightly smaller than traditional poker sized playing cards.
These are perfect as theatrical props, period reenactment, pirate encampments and much more!
Full colour images based on woodcuts by Jean Lebahy in the British Museum and Bibliothèque Nationale de France. c.1700-1750
Plain Back Cards (historically accurate)
Dimensions: Historically sized 3.5" x 2.25"
Print on Natural Ivory Acid Free and Lignin Card Stock
Includes Description Card, and Fleur-De-Lis wildcard
Historical PIP Cards without numbers
17th/18th Century "Paris Style" Historical Reproductions
18th Century French Parisian Style Playing Card Reproduction by Jean Lebahy