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Welcome to Bargrave's travels and collection. From here you can explore locations from Bargrave's travels and browse selected items from his "Cabinets of Curiosities" by selecting Explore Travels or by selecting Explore Collection.

French Playing Cards


French Playing Cards

These playing cards from France are known as "Jeu d'armourie". They were created by ‘Monsieur Demarest’ to help the young French king, Louis XIV, to learn about the history, warfare, and geography of Europe. Demarest was, in fact, Jean Desmarets, Sieur de Saint-Sorlin, one of the leading writers and dramatists of the 17th century and one of the founding members of the Academie Francaise. Commissioned by the King's Chief Minister, Cardinal Mazarin, Desmarets linked different suits to particular countries. Hearts stood for France; Clubs for Italy; Spades for Germany, England, Denmark, Sweden and rest of "northern parts"; and Diamonds for Spain, Portugal and "all their territories".

French Playing Cards

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