Extremely beautiful facsimile deck made by Solleone and Vito Arienti in 1977, titled “Jeu de Drapeaux,” based upon a set of cards made in France c.1814. This Solleone facsimile set was made in a limited edition of 999 decks, of which this is no. 195.
The cards are described by Gunther Anderson at his wonderful website, including his quote from Hargrave:
“One of a set of at least 17 period reproductions, the Jeu de Drapeaux shows military costume, and perhaps some subtle suggestions about military conduct, among the four major powers in Europe in the early 19th Century: France, England, Germany and Russia. The scheme of the deck is that each number card has that many soldiers on it, and each of the face cards has the right gender of character holding the flag. From Hargrave's A History of Playing Cards: ‘The rather famous “Jeu des Drapeaux” ... was issued under the Restoration in honor of Napoleon's return. It is a piquet pack with a title card, bearing the name on a flag, carried by one of the Old Guard. On a pillar beside him are the names of all the great victories from Ulm to Moscow. The cards themselves picture Napoleon's soldiers, the suit signs being on the flags they carry. The heart suit shows the French soldiers, and the king carries the famous motto, “La garde meurt et ne se rend pas.” They are spirited and delightful little prints, hand-colored.’"
It is a piquet deck, and complete at 32 suited cards. There is also a card introducing the deck. The cards are slightly large, measuring 94mm x 63mm, on unfinished stock. They are “wrapped” around the middle, and come in the original box.
The cards, box, and wrapper are mint.
Reference: (original edition – 1814) Fournier, Playing Cards, France 147
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