Historic Cards and Card Games
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Opposite 3/4 view, table open to games top with candlesticks placed on corners / Card and Writing Table (Table à quadrille brisé); Unknown; Paris, France; about 1725; Oak and fir veneered with bloodwood, kingwood and wamara; mahogany; drawers of walnut and oak; gilt-bronze mounts; silvered-bronze fittings; iron fittings; modern silk velvet; 74 x 101.3 x 101.6 cm (29 1/8 x 39 7/8 x 40 in.); 75.DA.2
Counter box, Mariaval le Jeune, ca. 1740-1760, France. V This box is one of a set of four made to contain the counters necessary for playing a card game, probably reversis, an old Italian card game, the basis for two very popular 18th-century games, hombre and quadrille. Such counter boxes would have been a luxurious and fashionable accessory for a card player of either sex.
Chinese Mother of Pearl gaming counters were introduced to England by the captains of the East India Trading Company. They immediately caused a sensation, with the wealthy paying small small fortunes to secure a set. They remained popular until about 1840 when new card games such as whist (which did not require counters) began to replace quadrille and Pope Joan.
An elegant setting for gaming on display Paris: Life & Luxury: a card and writing table (table à quadrille brisé) from about 1725, two armchairs (fauteuils à la reine) from about 1735, and a pair of candlesticks (flambeaux) from about 1680–90. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 75.DA.2, 75.DA.8.2–.3, and 72.DF.56.1–.2