TRANSFORMATION CARDS. [Cartes à rire des journaux]. [Paris, 1819].
Complete deck of 52 etched hand-coloured transformation cards (a little spotted in places, one card with small abrasure), commenting on the the political situation in France during the restoration of Louis VIII, playfully mixing caricatures of political figures with allegorized titles of political newspapers and burlesque scenes.
The knave of spades features the politician and historian Vicomte de Chateaubriand dressed in clerical costume, the knave of clubs depicts Talleyrand as ‘Clopineau’ with political zodiac signs at the top; the queen is ‘Gazette’ and the King of clubs is ‘Débats’ showing the editor carrying two large bags inscribed Débats and Empire with two asses in the background. The court cards from the suit of hearts are figures representing three popular journals: ‘Figaro’, ‘Minerve’ and ‘Constitutionnel’. Minerva is shown subduing certain evil spirits. The column which the king is defending is inscribed Charte constitutionnel. Liberté de la Presse. Liberté Individuelle. Loi des Elections. Tolérance. - See The World of Playing Cards, online). The lower denomination cards arrange the coloured symbols in often rude or burlesque scenes, frequently involving bare behinds.
The only complete deck we were able to trace is in the BNF.