Guest Blogger Melissa: Vintage French Playing Cards

I found these playing cards at a little shop in San Francisco called Gypsy Honeymoon years ago.  I have no idea how old they are, but I would guess late 1800’s??  They had never been opened when I bought them.  This is the paper they came wrapped in:


It was just too gorgeous to throw away.  (And I actually had a really hard time even opening the deck.  They were exquisite with the wrap on!)

The cards are not a traditional deck- no numbers, queens named
Rachel and kings named Charles!  Odd.  I am absolutely enamored with
them, though.



  1. Glad you like, Liz! I know, when I found them I kinda freaked out. 😉 I would love to know what type of game they were used for since they aren’t a traditional deck…

  2. Wow, how did you work up the courage to open them? I would have had them for years before I opened them (: They’re so beautiful!

  3. These are French produced playing cards from around 1885-1900. It says on the packaging 32 cartes that means 32 cards in total their was no such thing as a joker in european playing cards. Till a American by the name of Samuel Hart created the card after the Civil War. The names on the suited court cards by what I mean spades king etc..These names are The Nine Divines or divinity’s. You propbably have names like Ceasar,Hector,Alexander but in french its Alexandre, and females as Pallas,Argine and Judith. Some of these represented famous rulers throughout history and some were taken from the bible. Now that I have made you fall asleep thats a little history about cards. I hope it helps

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