GRANDVILLE, J.J. La Sibylle des Salons. 52 lithographic playing cards, coloured by hand. With a small 24 pp. printed guide to the cards in the original printed wrappers. 115 x 58 mm, in publisher's decorated box, housed in a new green half morocco folding box. Paris: H. Pussey .
This is a complete set of the second edition of Grandville's rare set of 52 playing cards, adapted for whist with the card values added to the upper left hand corner. Each of the cards is a hand-coloured lithograph by Grandville, although the cards bear the signature of Mansion, a portrait miniaturist, whose real name was André Leon Larue, they were in fact lithographed by Grandville, undoubtedly from his own designs but at Mansion's atelier where Grandville spent less than a month in the master's employ. According to Renonciat, it is probable that Mansion, as head of his own atelier and perhaps as the project's initiator, made minor improvements to Grandville's designs and thus signed his name, a common practice in contemporary artists' workshops.
This deck of cards was intended for playing not only whist but for telling fortunes. Hence not only does each card have a suit (one of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs) and a rank of between 2 and 10, or one of jack, queen, king and ace at the upper left corner, but they also have a banner predicting the players fate i.e. illness, marriage, receiving a letter, success, a voyage, love, wealth, etc. Additionally, each card has an inscription in ink at the head and foot, offering two possible readings of the card according to which way the image is placed.
Curiously and unmentioned by Renonciat or Getty, is that ten of the cards are countersigned at lower right by the Parisian printer J. Gaudais who, in 1860, would issue a deck of tarot cards of his own design. It remains unknown what role Gaudais played in the release of this second edition, yet the checked design to the rear of each card is quite similar to that of Gaudais' 1860 deck; here in blue, in Gaudais' blood-orange. He was, likely but not certainly, Mansion's printer for this set.
"Avec la Sibyle des salons…Grandville répond à cette passion de la bonne aventure qui anime les boudoirs. C'est l'un des premiers exemples de ces jeux de divination qui vont se multiplier vers le milieu du XIX sìecle" (Renonciat, J.J. Grandville, p.28). ["With the Prophetess of the Living Room Grandville answered that passion for fortune-telling that animated the ladies' private sitting room. It is one of the first examples of this divination game that will multiply toward the middle of the 19th century]". A near fine set, suffering only from wear to the fragile wrappers of the included pamphlet, and minor wear to the box.
Renonciat, pp.28-29. Getty 404.
Item nr. 167585