Fashionable Decks with a Fragrance

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Our attention was aroused when Joe Friedman sent us an email with a picture attached of an ad in the New York Times for Hermès, which showed some unknown cards floating through the air. It took some corresponding with the customer service of Hermès in New York and Paris, but we got confirmation that the cards belonged to a new deck, which Hermès Maison was going to publish mid April as "Les 4 Mondes" for the Spring Summer collection of 2010. Although not mentioned on the Hermès site there is an official Hermès shop in the Netherlands too. So on the 24th of April we went to the "PC",  thé shopping street in Amsterdam, and bought a deck. It had only just arrived in a shipment from Paris, so we can present you a "scoop" in playing cards here.......

The deck has non-standard designs on courts and aces. Each suit is dedicated to a certain type of animal. The Spades show fish, the Hearts dogs, the Clubs birds and the Diamonds show reptiles. All the designs are done in b/w and in simple line work, but with excellent finesse and eye for detail. The aces are illustrated with essential parts of the kind of animals used on the courts. The circular designs around the suit symbols on the aces are repeated in the back design around a large H.

There are two versions of the deck available. Shown here is the regular sized deck, but there's also an over-sized deck, which measures 110 x 180 mm.

 

The deck consists of 52 cards and 2 similar jokers.

The two-piece box is in the typical brownish Hermès colour and has the name of the company and its logo on the top cover.

The Hèrmes customer service isn't too keen on giving information, so we haven't been able to get names of designer and printer yet. But we persist and when we do get further information, we'll share it here with you. The only thing we can add here is that the reference number for orders is 400131M for the regular sized deck and 400130M for the oversized deck.
Thanks to an Italian collector, Gustavo Orlando-Zon, we now know that the deck was designed by Pierre Marie, who also designed the whole Spring / Summer collection 2010 for Hermès and the Les 4 Mondes" colouring book for children, in which some the the cards from this deck are depicted.

But there's more news!
Here's a small picture of the original Hermès ad in the New York Times. The cards have the same back design, but on the 2 of Hearts there's an animal depicted. On the original size ad it's easy to recognize it as a raccoon.

However, in the small deck the 2 of Hearts didn't have an illustration, nor did any of the other pips. By chance we got a good deal on a large size deck and much to our surprise we found 6 other pips with an illustration of an animal too. Interested to see them......click on the ad......

 

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