So why are there clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades on the cards? There are three explanations for this, can you find the right one, unlike Christophe Pacaud who fell into one of my traps?
Answer 1) These are the French carters, installed in Rouen and Lyon, who imagined these symbols in the 15th century., two black and two red, because they were easy to recognize, but also easy to reproduce with wooden stamps.
Answer 2) It is the French Revolution that replaced the symbols that previously appeared on playing cards, a chalice, a fleur de lis, a shield or a sword, monarchical or religious symbols considered incompatible with the revolutionary ideal.
Answer 3) Card games were part of the baggage of Christian knights during the Crusades in the 12th century. An emir, passionate about card games, substituted the Christian symbols that appeared on them, basic or powerful crosses, red or black.
Etienne de Vignolles, Joan of Arc’s companion in arms, was also called ‘La Hire’, as the valet of hearts …
The correct answer is answer 1!
Yes, In fact, it is the French card makers, we call them cartiers, who invented the patterns that appear today on cards around the world or almost… At that time, in the 15th century, therefore, there were many different patterns on the cards, in addition, multi-colored motifs, which made card making complicated and very expensive.
Before the heart, there were chalices or roses. Instead of the tile, bells or coins symbolized. Instead of the clover we find acorns or sticks, and instead of the shovel we find shields or swords.
The clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades that replace them are solid, simple, one-color patterns that are very easy to reproduce mechanically., using ink-dipped wooden stamps, while earlier designs had to be hand-painted as they were multi-colored and sophisticated.
As is often the case with the history of things or words, there is another explanation: The clover, hearts, diamonds and spades could have been invented by Etienne de Vignolles, still in the 15th century, to be used in a card game of his invention, the game of Piquet.. Supporters of this version remember that Vignolles fought alongside Joan of Arc, and that he was also called “La Hire”, which is the other name for … Valet de cœur!
Anyway, clubs, hearts, spades diamonds are in fact a French invention, one more, that conquered the whole world … Note that these symbols have a hidden meaning: the clover is nature, therefore, the peasantry, the heart, which replaces a chalice, is the clergy, the Church, the tile that replaced the currency, symbolizes the mercantile bourgeoisie, and the pike symbolizes and replaces the sword, that is, the nobility of the sword. It also explains why spades are the strongest card in the game and clubs the weakest!
Thanks to our auditor Karine Tourmente-Leroux who asked me this question on Facebook.
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