Just like the "Joker of the Month" in the Jokers section we will select a "Deck of the Month" from all the decks that we could add to our collection during that month. It will be what we consider our best find. We've started this section in April 2007 and without any doubt we can say here that over the years there will be antique, vintage and modern decks shown on these pages. Age, design and value of the chosen decks may be very different each time.
It's not the most beautiful example, but I don't recall showing an Aluette deck on this site before. It's a game that is often found in France and I found this antique one on the market at the Porte de Vanves in Paris. I got it rather cheap, as the seller thought it was incomplete. But these decks always consist of 48 cards only. There are never any 10's.
An Aluette deck always uses a Spanish pattern for the courts and Spanish suits too. So there are swords, cups, clubs and coins. Although the 2 of Swords mentions "fabricando in Madrid" this deck was made by Charles Maurin, who was active in Paris from 1865 - 1872. His initials are in the middle of a Star of David on the 4 of coins.
The origin of the Aluette game is disputed, just like that of it's name and the dating. The two main theories are that the game either comes from Spain and was introduced in the West of France by Spanish sailors in the 17th century or that it was first produced in the West of France, where card makers used the available (=Spanish suited) patterns in the 16th century. The Aluette game is also known in France as "Jeu de la Vache" (Game of the Cow), referring to the image of a cow on the 2 of cups (see below).
deck was printed by woodblock and stencil coloured in only 3 colours. So
probably made for daily use, although the used card is surprisingly sturdy and
The Ace of Coins is the most important card for collectors, as it usually carries the name of the maker in the embellishment at the bottom.
However, not in this deck. Here the only reference to the maker are his initials in the Star of David on the 4 of Coins (see below).
The deck consists of 48 cards and some of the pip cards have a small illustration too.
"Made in Madrid" is obviously incorrect, but might have been added to avoid taxes.
There's always an image of a cow on the 2 of Cups, hence the French nickname "Jeu de la Vache".
And just like the 3 of Cups and the 2 of Clubs, the 2,3, 4 and 5 of Coins also have similar designs in each Aluette deck.