Des preux aux rois, dames et valets de jeux de cartes
Jeu de cartes au portrait de Paris
Paris, Nicaise Mouillet, 1719. Gravures sur bois, coloriées au pochoir, 8,5 x 5,5 cm (la carte)
BnF, Estampes et photographie, Rés. Kh-34b-Pet. fol.
This card game represents a part of the ‘Nine Worthies’ (this card only has 5, which was common for the Parisian card games during the 18th century)
The Nine Worthies are nine historical, scriptural and legendary personages who personify the ideals of chivalry as were established in the Middle Ages. All are commonly referred to as ‘Princes’ in their own right, despite whatever true titles each man may have held. In French they are called Les Neuf Preux, meaning “Nine Valiants”, which term gives a slightly more focused idea of the sort of moral virtue they were deemed to represent so perfectly, that of soldierly courage and generalship. The study of the life of each would thus form a good education for the aspirant to chivalric status.
The Nine Worthies include three good pagans: Hector, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, three good Jews: Joshua, David and Judas Maccabeus, and three good Christians: King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon.