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Playing Cards of Africa] Biledulgerid, Madagascar - MORTIER, Pieter - 1710. 
Amsterdam P. Mortier c. 1710 - Set of 13 playing cards, fine original outline hand-colour. Dimensions: 83 × 53 mm (3.25 × 2 inches). A wonderful cartographic playing card in fine original colour. By the early 18th century the cartographic range of playing cards was almost completely dominated by one important family of map makers, the Amsterdam map publishing group founded in 1685 by Pieter Mortier (1661-1711). After his death, as his son was underage, the business was continued by his widow Amelia and brother David; his son Cornelis took over control of the business in 1721, and continued it in partnership with Johannes Covens, as Covens & Mortier, on into the 1780s under later members of the families. Extant sets of the cards can be found with a rule-book, bearing the imprint of Covens and Mortier, but it is likely that the cards were first published by Pieter Mortier towards the end of his life. All playing cards are rare: designed for play and being of small format, they were extremely vulnerable to damage from handling, and easy to loose, making the pack incomplete and therefore a candidate for being thrown away, so even individual playing cards of this age are difficult to find on the market and particularly desirable for the collector. Mann Collection, 1125; Mann, Sylvia & Kingsley, David, 'Map Collectors' Circle No. 87: Playing Cards Depicting maps of the British Isles, and of English and Welsh Counties', p. 23, No.11; King, Geoffrey, 'Minature Antique Maps', p.160.
[Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
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