This is a reproduction of a deck dated to 1567 that is based on a set of face cards by Pierre Marechal of Rouen, France. (See the video below for a closer look a the deck)┬áThe cards of Rouen are significant because many were produced for export to Britain. English merchants are even said to have bought them for re-export to other countries. In 1628 England banned the importation of cards, and English printers have been shown to have used Rouen face cards as inspiration for their own cruder, more stylized decks which have become the standard motifs still used in many modern decks. They are about 3.5 ” x 2.25″ the size of a modern “Bridge deck” and they are blank on the back as was most common for early cards.

What we like about it:

  • If you are completing any of our activity kits on early modern card games, this set is the one that’s closest to what Shakespeare would have used in his lifetime. (Our activity kit on Noddy shares more details on the history behind the development and evolution of English card designs!)
  • 16th Century French cards were extremely popular in England. After the import of French cards were banned, the English copied the French designs for their domestic card sets, making a 16th century French deck of cards most authentic when recreating card games from Shakespeare’s lifetime.

How to Purchase:

This product is from a partnering vendor, MacGregor Games.**
You can buy this product on their website, linked at the button below.

**MacGregor games has not yet made a partnership with us. We love their products and readily recommend these cards for all the reasons listed, but this product is listed here as a sample to demonstrate what the product listing will look like for potential partners.