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     Peter Endebrock's Playing-card Pages

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French secondary-use cards

As paper and cardboard were expensive in former times, the blank backs of playing-cards were often used for other purposes when they were mis-printed, after they were used or when the pack was incomplete. I am showing here some examples from France from around 1800.

Row-wise from top left to bottom right the cards are
-- a revolutionary King of Diamonds by Mandrou, used for noting a security card number.
-- a Jack of Clubs by Housset with the names of a joint ownership.
-- a Jack of Hearts by Ressy to mark a last will.
-- a Jack of Diamonds to mark the documents of July 1779 for Michel Maillard.
-- an Ace of Clubs with a hand-painted picture.
-- a Nine of Hearts with a receipt for 44 francs.
-- a Jack of Spades used for the description of an antique Roman silver coin with Nero and his mother Agrippina on the obverse and a chariot with an elephant quadriga and 'E X S C' ('ex senatus consulto', by decision of the Senate) on the reverse.
-- a Queen of Clubs by Mandrou used as a library catalogue card for the book 'L'intolerance ecclésiastique ou les malheurs d'un hétérodoxe' by Moritz August von Thümmel and Christoph Friedrich Nicolai published 1779 in Neuchatel.
-- an Ace of Spades with headlines from The Spectator in Latin and English (as in the journal) on both sides. The e.g. first headline on the back ('Advice is thrown away ...' in the English version) was in No. 475 of the journal, Thursday 4th September 1712.
-- a Six of Spades printed as two visiting cards for the officer Dosquet of the 'Chasseurs des Ardennes', afterwards cut to separate the two cards. In 1789, Dosquet was second lieutenant in this regiment.


© Peter Endebrock, 01 May 2022