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Suit System:F
Recommended Name:  no recommended name.

Formerly labelled F-1.532 and XP5a (XP for eXpatriate Paris). Turnhout makers occasionally called the pattern "Cartes Parisiennes".


This pattern is plainly a modification of [IPCS #72], and is often associated with the Paris expositions of 1889 and 1900, via scenic aces and wrappers. It was also produced in Paris, by B. P. Grimaud. It arrived on the scene too late for inclusion in the Turnhout sample-books that have survived from the period c.1860-80. There are indications that it was exported to distant countries: Mesmaekers certainly exported it to Constantinople.

Characteristic features

Usual XP format (i.e. with a horizontal dividing line). The maker's name is often printed on all the court cards, vertically just inside the frame. As usual for the XP group, it is the four Kings that define the pattern, KC and KS being the most important. KS still displays the angular top of a shield with a winged head as decoration, as in [IPCS #72]. KC is plainly derived from the figure of that pattern by replacing the ill-drawn harp with a stiffly drawn arm clad in armour (as is the King's chest - but not his other arm!).

The Queens are quite unlike those of the "Cartes Italiennes". In typical examples from Turnhout, as well as in Grimaud's version, their coiffures are neater and they are wearing small feathered caps or turbans - rather like the headgear of the Jacks, in fact. In the 1900 version by Geûens-Willaert their headgear is different again.

The Jacks are clearly modelled on those of [IPCS #72] except that JD is now holding the traditional halberd instead of a spear, and JH has been given a sword-hilt to hold instead of letting his hand hover near the edge of his cloak.


King, Queen, Jack and numerals; usually 52 cards. Packs usually have scenic aces of Paris at the time of the expositions.

Illustrations in the literature

Turnhoutse Speelkaarten items 56-58 by Glenisson & Sons, c.1890; Van Genechten, c.1900; Mesmaekers, c.1889. All examples by Biermans with Queens of this pattern have Kings of [IPCS #72] and must therefore be accounted as examples of that pattern. Grimauds version appears as item FRA 143 of the Cary catalogue, where it is dated as c.1885.

Illustration of XP5a pattern (jpg 1050 x 1100)
Top three Rows: B. P. Grimaud, Paris.
Bottom three Rows: Geûens-Willaert, Bruges, 1900.

The International Playing-Card Society 8/2001 JB

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Last updated 15th January 2011