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Philibert "Le Florentin" Playing Cards, Becat Designs, Draeger Freres, Ltd. Edition (5967/12,000), c.1955
Celebrated erotic deck, "Le Florentin," published by Philibert, printed by Draeger Freres, with designs by P. Emile Becat, French artist and designer. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful decks of cards ever made.
The Becat designs are said to be based upon paintings of the "Old Masters" that were destroyed by the fanatical and charismatic monk, Savanarola, at the end of the 15th century. Whatever the original source material, and however close these designs are to that material, the Aces, Jokers, and court cards of this deck are stunning indeed.
The deck has 52 cards, plus 2 Jokers, plus 1 "Title Card" that includes a description of the court cards, plus 1 unbacked card certifying the deck. The deck was a limited edition -- 12,000 decks in all -- of which this deck is No. 5967. The cards are large size, measuring 94mm x 63mm, and are gold gilt all around. They come in the original custom box.
The cards are in pristine, "as new" condition, viewed but not used, without issues of any kind and with gold gilt intact; the deck is accompanied by a U.S. tax stamp and the remnants of a wrapper. I have sold many of these decks over the years, none in better condition than this one. The box has wear along the edges of the lid, including a noticeable abrasion at one corner.
Reference: Fournier, Playing Cards, France 405.
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