June 2007


We were in Paris from May 31st until June 5th. Always an exciting place to be, so full of life and culture. We have been to Paris before, about 75 times, and it's somewhat of a second home-town to us. Ever since we began to collect playing cards, we have created new shopping routes across town: it's antique shops, bridge shops, bric-a-brac shops and antiquarians now too. But on Saturday and Sunday it's time for the flea markets. The one on the Port de Vanves is our favorite market in terms of atmosphere and ambiance, especially when the sun is out. It's not as famous as the flea market on the Port the Clignancourt, but you'll also find some British, American, German, Dutch or Japanese visitors on the  Vanves and somehow we all manage to find something of our interest there too. Over the years we have found old and new decks there for our collection, even more than we ever did on the Port de Clignancourt. This time it was the other way around. Vanves only brought us an antique Tarot deck, so nothing for our own collection, but on the Clignancourt we found, besides 2 other nice decks,......our Deck of the Month!

This wonderful, colorful deck was printed in chromolithography and published by B.P. Grimaud from Paris as "Cartes Indiennes" around 1900. The courts all show Indian figures as Kings, Queens and Jacks and they are set against a floral background design. On the number cards we also find a floral design in the background, which gives the deck an Art Nouveau look.
The Whist deck of 52 cards has gold edges and there are some gold printed details on the courts too. It was obviously a luxury edition. What's best about our find is that this deck had never been used and that it came in the original box too. All......... at a bargain price!

It's one of those decks that has been on our wish list for some time now, so we were especially happy with this find. However, we received another deck this month that had been on our wish list for a long time too: the Norwegian "Peik" deck. Jean Darquenne was nice enough to bring it to the collectors meeting in the Belgian National Museum of Playing Cards in Turnhout on the 9th. As there can only be one Deck of the Month, the Peik deck will have to settle for an honorable mention.

To see some of the other Clignancourt finds, visit the PARIS 1900 Xpo and the OLD SCHOOL Xpo for a Ch. H. Reuter deck.