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Grimaud “Hollandaises” (“Middle Ages”) Playing Cards, Grimaud No. 536, F. Simon Designs, Mini-Patience Size, c.1915
Beautiful deck of mini-patience size cards made by Grimaud that Fournier describes as “MIDDLE AGES decks for patience . . . [r]eversible allegorical figures of the period.” The card sample (Q of Hearts) shown in Fournier includes the Grimaud name on it, and the cards in the set here for sale do not, but these cards have the same dimensions and the design is the same. Fournier dates the deck to 1890, and this set has the 1890 tax stamp. However, the Cary Collection contains this precise deck (i.e., Grimaud No. 536), Keller dates it to 1915, and I have adopted that date. The World Web Playing Card Museum shows these designs with the name “Hollandaises” (WWPCM03745), a name apparently taken from boxes that contained cards with these designs, and dates the cards to 1910, and it should be noted that the cards here for sale have printed indices and rounded corners. Incidentally, the WWPCM attributes the designs to “F. Simon,” known to have designed a number of early decks for Grimaud, and I have accepted that attribution. I assume that his name appears on larger size decks of the “Hollandaises” cards or on a box. As noted, the box for this set shows Grimaud No. 536, and this number may help those more familiar with Grimaud numbering to date the cards with precision. It also contains a scripted signature and I am uncertain of the letters; every combination that I have attempted on the internet has failed to yield meaningful results.
The deck has 52 cards. I do not believe that it ever had a Joker, and note that the Cary Collection deck does not. The cards are mini-patience size, measuring 44mm x 31mm, and have plain green backs. They come in the original box.
The cards and box are in excellent used condition. There is evidence of handling and use, including very light soiling, but the cards and box are otherwise without issues.
References: Keller, The Cary Collection of Playing Cards, FRA 367; Fournier, Playing Cards, France 315.
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