September 2023



Of course the main event of this month was the combined ACCART / IPCS convention in Blois, France. Always a joy to see old friends and new collectors to meet there. Too bad that there was only one trading session and the auction to buy decks. Although the offer during the trading session was of 

high quality, there were no decks that really caught my eye. There was only a Lattmann deck in the auction that did get my attention, but it was too used and the price a little too high in my opinion. So I didn't bring home any decks for this spot and had to fall back on a previously acquired one.

Although non-standard, this pattern is well known. It must be, as it has been published over a period of about 50 years and there have been several editions, each with small differences in coloring and background. I've shown my earliest edition of this deck until now on this spot in August 2022 and had already compared 4 court cards from different editions of this deck in the lockdown series.
I've added the KS, QH, JC and AS to that page now.
But here's the first edition of the "Moyen Age" deck by Daveluy from Bruges, Belgium. It was in the lot with Belgian decks in the Dominic Winter auction of a part of the Dudley Ollis collection. In the description the expert of the auction house had already suggested that this could be the first edition and once I had received it I knew he was right.

Although I don't like to repeat myself, I've taken the introduction from the August 2022 deck:
Edouard Alexis Daveluy was born on May 31, 1812. In 1835 he came to Bruges to start a lithographic print shop. The Daveluy company became renowned for their so-called porcelain cards and has produced these cards until his son Viktor took over the business in 1866. But in February 1847 Daveluy registered (déposé) a trade mark for a wrapper of a special deck of cards and in October of that year he acquired a certificate (brevet) to produce playing cards by color print or chromolithography. So, although an exact date or year isn't known, it's likely that Daveluy began their playing card production in or not long after 1847.

There's no proof that the registered certificate was meant for this deck, but it definitely is the first edition of the Moyen Age pattern, so it could date from just before 1850. There are a number of reasons for this assumption. All the kings from this deck have been redrawn. Most of them into the form that's found in all the later editions. The most striking difference in design is that of the KS. He lost his goatee, but got a full beard in all the later editions. The JC also lost his goatee, but could keep his moustache.
Another hint towards a first edition are the thin gold printed borders with square corners on the inside instead of the rounded ones from the later editions. This kind of border can be found in early editions of other Daveluy decks too.
And there's a difference in colour on several court cards and of course in backgrounds too when compared to later editions. What also stuck out, was that in this deck only the red aces were used to print the information about maker (AH) and the name of the deck (AD). The words on the AH are intriguing: Daveluy Breveté Bruges. In the later edition the aces (of spades) say "Cartes Brevetées" (certified cards), but "Daveluy Bevreté" rather suggests that it was Daveluy who was certified.







Not long after I had published this page Paul Symons sent me pictures of an other early Moyen Age edition and asked for my opinion. I explained why I thought it was an early, but somewhat later, maybe second, edition than mine as above. Mainly because of the colour of the hair of the kings and jacks. Light brown in my deck and already black in his deck, like in all the later editions. Heads were redrawn, but the KS still had his goatee. However........

A few days later Paul sent me pictures of the courts and 3 aces of a slightly incomplete edition, that he had found in one of his folders and asked for my opinion on this edition. Well, the two pictures here changed my mind completely. This was probably the very first edition of the Moyen Age deck. Although a bit roughly, almost hastily, printed and on regular card instead of porcelain card, the beardless KD must predate the KD from my edition. Also I interpret the bold font and full out printed "Breveté du Gouvernement" as a sort of proud announcement, celebrating the occasion. As said above, this certification was granted in October 1847. So this first edition must date from early 1848 or maybe even late 1847. Too bad that the AS is one of the missing cards from Paul's deck, as it would have been interesting to see if the name of the deck would have been mentioned there. I wouldn't have expected it there, because in both mine above as well as Paul's other deck the name of the maker and the name of the deck were on the AH and AD.
Click HERE to see the other courts and aces from the deck.


So now a most likely second edition, the deck consists of 52 porcelain cards with a blank back.