c.1890 Livre de Destin

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c.1890 Livre de Destin, B.P. Grimaud 33/33 cards


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

Deck: Livre de Destin (32 cards + missing the one blank card)


Description:  The game is composed of 32 cards plus a blank card that serves as the consultant(e) (the blank card is missing from this deck). 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.' "


Deck Identifiers:

   · Style:  Sybilla Cards 

   · Titles:  French and English

· Versos/Backs:  plaid pattern

· Paper:  thick pasteboard

· Borders:  double black line

· Tax Stamp: None



Good condition; complete 32/32 cards, missing the blank card, with significant signs of use, wear and soiling; the deck is curved from heavy use and perhaps hand-cut; given the wear, it is likely the deck was used professionally; with worn/curved/cut corners & edges, surface scuffing, stains, lacks, age darkening, and patina. Card #15 is significantly worn with loss; the versos/backs are also scuffed and chipped with lacks; the deck has an old perfume/incense odour.