Card game - Renaissance costumes


Dusserre Edition, Paris

According to the first specialist card games, the Jesuit, P. Ménestrier (1631-1705), the card game symbolically represented the stucture of the feudal society. First we find there the four traditional monarchies figured by the four kings "Judaic" with David (spades); "Greek" with Alexander (Clover), "Roman" with Caesar (diamonds); and "French" with Charlemagne (Heart). The ladies evoke the sovereignty of the four virtues: power, beauty, wisdom and piety. As correspond to the financial; the servants, the homes of war.
The weapons would be designated by the pikes; property and homes of the bourgeoisie, the tiles; agricultural wealth, by the clover; ecclesiastical funds hearts because "men of the Church are always the heart of men."
More moderate test Breitkopf (1784) is also worthy of interest. The author stresses the similarity in composition between the structure of chess and the card games, indicating a common Eastern origin. Introduced by nomadic populations, Arab and gypsy, the cards might be a creation of the genius of India. Very long and very broad in their archaic form, the blades may be adapted to a more convenient use. At the end of the fourteenth century, we still find the old emblems of tarot cards, money, cups, swords and sticks that were later transformed into spades, hearts, tiles and trèles.
Anyway, the cards seem to have been, in their primitive form, for teaching rather than gambling and divination; they were apparently addressed to educational tools warrior castes of India or Iran chivalry.


Deck of 54 cards
Age Minimum : 14 years old
9 x 6,6 x 2,2 cm

Kids, Games
Card game - Renaissance costumes
Card game - Renaissance costumes

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