c.1890 Livre de Destin

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c.1890 Livre de Destin, B.P. Grimaud 32/32 cards, + 1 blank indicator card, 20-page booklet + original two-part telescopic box


Published by B.P. Grimaud, Paris, France, c.1890

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Deck: Livre de Destin


Description:  The game is composed of 32 cards plus a blank card that serves as the consultant(e). William Hughes Willshire (1876) describes an early c.1810-60 version of the game printed by Carpentier Mericourt and held at the British Museum (1866,1110.647-679) as:


A pique set of cards of the suits piques, coeurs, carreaux, and trefles (spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs). It is intended for the purposes of fortune-telling as well as for ordinary play, but belongs to the amusing variety of fortune-telling cards, and not to the serious divinatory class.

Each card-piece has a representation of a small numeral card at its upper left-hand corner. Occupying the greater portion of the piece is an emblematic design, including full-length figures and landscapes; below is the title. The ace of piques has on it a Cupid on clouds, about to let off an arrow on some one below. Above him are two billing doves, below is the title, L'Amour. The ten of carreaux exhibits a large parterre of flowers, from which a serpent protrudes his neck. Over these are some birds hovering, and at a little distance other birds arc being caught in a net. At the lower margin are the words: "Piege ou Trahison."

A book of explication accompanies the set. It is entitled: "Le Livre de Destin," and commences with an "Epitre aux Dames," by M. Violet, editeur, which begins with the assurance that " L'homme galant doit toujours faire hommage aux Dames du fruit de ses travaux." After the address comes the "Maniere de tirer les Cartes," followed by an " Explication des Cartes, "with finally the "Rencontre des Cartes ayant meme valeur" (171-172).

Deck Identifiers:

· Borders:  Double black line

· Reverses:  Plaid pattern, blue, pink and purple

· Paper:  thick pasteboard

· Titles:  French and English

· Style:  Sybilla Cards

· Tax Stamp: On card #16. "This stamp was in use in France from 1890 to 1917, and from 1922 to 1940." 
The text reads, "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE' and 'DÉCRET DU 12 AVRIL 1890" (Endebrock 2011). 



Very good condition. Some foxing, minor surface scuffing, slight stains and patina. Cards and booklet appear unused; original card box with some edge and corner wear, lacking bottom side of the inner sleeve, and paper applique well preserved. 

Card Dimensions:  10.7 cm x 7 cm X 1.7 cm