FRENCH REVOLUTION 1793 Cards ~ REIGN OF TERROR ~ Uncut Sheet RARE RARE RARE
FRENCH REVOLUTION 1793 Cards ~ REIGN OF TERROR ~ Uncut Sheet RARE RARE RARE:
In Paris, February 1793, just a month after the execution of King Louis XVI, in the midst of the "Reign of Terror" of the French Revolution, a prominent Jacobin radical by the name of Urbain Jaume decided that traditional playing cards displaying pictures of Kings and Queens were counter-revolutionary and steps needed to be taken to rectify the situation. In partnership with architect and designer Jean-Démosthène Dugourc, Jaume applied for and received a 5 year patent "for the invention of new playing cards". In this new deck, known as "Cartes Révolutionnaire", the traditional figures of King, Queen and Jack have been replaced by Geniuses, Freedoms and Equalities, these being symbols of the work of the Revolution. Cards of this design are very rare, but what we have here on offer is far rarer and, at this point in time, almost certainly, unique. It is an uncut and uncolored sheet of the face cards from the production of the decks, most likely a second due to some un-inked edge borders.The printed area of the sheet measures 6 3/4 x 11 1/8 inches, the full sheet is approx. 9 3/4 x 12 3/4, each card would have been trimmed down to approx. 3 1/8 x 2 1/8 inches. It is printed in black ink on age toned cream colored laid paper (the last image shows the paper backlit to enhance the laid pattern). There is a little old water staining along the bottom right and right hand edge that does not reach the printed area and a number of flattened creases, mostly evident on the reverse.The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, perhaps the world's preeminent museum of the applied arts, has only 7 of the cards from a deck in their collection. They state on their webpage about the cards; "Playing cards of this type are extremely rare and this object...forms a significant addition to the Museum’s holdings of playing cards". see the 1793 published broadside with colored and suited versions of the face cards, arrow buttons on the right side of this webpage will lead you to the published text about the cards.