Wednesday, 10 April 2019

A French Revolutionary children's card game

Here is a cool set of  children's "Geographical" cards from the time of the the French Revolution, currently for sale on the AbeBooks website ( all yours for $1,320 if you want them!)

There are 48 cards, each one describing a different country or geographical feature of the world, and featuring a small circular portrait of a native. The cards measure 2.5 x 4 inches and come complete with their original pink-papered box.

The date (late 1790s/1800) is easily deduced from the text:

5th Card:  "France": 
France, we learn,  has been governed by sixty-seven Kings from three different races,  from Pharamond to Louis XVI, in whose reign monarchical government was "finally abolished".  France today, we  are assured, is "the country in the world where the art of living in society is cultivated with most success."(!)

38th Card "Etats-Unis"
 "The Americans, aided by the French, proclaimed their liberty in 1776 and formed themselves into a republic, under the name of the United States."
Philadelphia is given as the American capital, which confirms the date as 1800 at the latest.

Card 48:  "Terres Polaires et Australes".  
The card mentions New Holland, Botany Bay (which is a convict colony) and Van Diemen's Land.

Geographie'. French children's geographical card game dating from the period of the French Revolution, with cards pertaining to Terres Australes and Etats Unis"
Offered by Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints in Garrison, New York on AbeBooks.

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