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Geographical pack from France

These geographical cards were designed c. 1763 by Nicolas de Poilly, and printed by J.-B. Mitoire, Paris. They do not have suit-signs, but instead they use different colours to distinguish the series. In addition to the usual Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten to Two, there is an extra card with a map.

On the Aces and court cards are explanations for the particular country, the pip-cards show towns, rivers, and distances to the capital, the number of towns according to the value of the card.

In my collection are eight complete sets. I show the series for the Netherlands, and the Ace and map card for the other series.

Presumably the whole known world was described on cards like that, although in very different detail: France very extensively, Europe relatively detailed, and the rest of the world much lumped together. At least 22 regions of France, 46 European countries, and 4 continents are known.

© Peter Endebrock, 04 June 2000