c.1790 Single La Maison Dieu (Tower) Card by L. Carey Pre-Revolutionary Besançon Tarot

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c.1790 Pre-Revolutionary L. Carey La Maison Dieu (Tower), Strasbourg Besançon

Published by L. Carey [Carré], c.1783-1793


Louis Carey (1736-1808) was a "Marchand-cartier" (merchant cardmaker) active in Strasbourg, France, who produced cards from 1776 until he died in 1808.

The blocks for the Carey Besançon deck were initially engraved by Francois Isnard (1695 -1765) and used by several cardmakers. Prior to Carey, J.B. Benoist produced the cards between c.1761 and 1783, succeeding his father, the Maître Cartier (master cardmaker) David Benoist. There's a copy of a Benoist Besançon held at the British Museum with the same versos/back pattern as this Carey card (BM 1896,0501.545.1-76)

As Carey was producing cards during the French Revolution, the deck later had to be stripped of all monarchical symbols (see the revolutionary Carey at BnF dated c.1793-1799). While La Maison Dieu/Tower card remained unchanged, this card follows the colours and versos of the pre-revolutionary Carey decks. 

Deck Identifiers:

  • Style: Strasbourg Besançon, pre-revolution
  • Title: French
  • Border: single black-line
  • Verso/Back: paper backs printed pattern in delicate blue ink with double helix printed with dots and repeated diamond between. 

Card Measurement: 12.1 cm x 6.7 cm

CONDITION: The card is in very good condition, with only minor imperfections and a slight warp (see photographs and scan).