Lyons Swiss Export playing cards “Fribourg”







Lyons export pattern with preliminary colouring. Cards of this time period often featured a vivid purple.


Finished Lyons Export playing cards. These cards are based, with influences of other specimens, on a pack known to have been in 20141013_114446-1[1]Sylvia Mann’s collection, and is dated pre-1600. They were produced in or near Lyons for export, primarily to Fribourg, now Switzerland.

The Jacks in this particular pack are a macho lot!
When this pattern was produced, colors included yellow and red (most cards do), as well as black, pale blue-grey, and vivid purple. Although I am researching possible recipes for the pigments, I will likely er on the side of presentation and go with what looks most consistent.

20141016_153536-1[1]As the oldest specimens of this pattern that I could find are finished and painted (as opposed to an unfinished sheet found in a book binding), I had to do some guessing as to what lies under the thicker, darker stencil paints.

There are three packs in queue for coloring, as I felt it may be a more efficient process, even though they will not have all the same colours. I feel as if I  have made my very own colouring book.
The finished pack is printed on smooth bristol. It’s a consistent material, readily available, and soaks up the colors. It’s a different price point than card stock, but I’m much happier with the results.




The originals can be found here

Similar early xvi century cards from Rouen here


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