Item #11483 Demandes et Réponses. [Incipit:] N’En faites pas ún Hasard.
Demandes et Réponses. [Incipit:] N’En faites pas ún Hasard.
Demandes et Réponses. [Incipit:] N’En faites pas ún Hasard.
“THE ART OF POLITE MOCKERY” — CRAVERI

Demandes et Réponses. [Incipit:] N’En faites pas ún Hasard.

[France], c. 1790.

Oblong 12mo (130 x 100 mm.). MANUSCRIPT GAME BOOK WITH ITS ORIGINAL PLAYING CARDS. Contemporary foliation: [2 = front pastedown], [3 blank], 40, [17 blank], [2 = rear pastedown]. In a single cursive hand in brown ink. Each foliated recto has a short sentiment developed in the quatrain below; versos are blank. The playing cards are similarly treated. Each verso has a number, a sentiment and a quatrain in manuscript. The cards are of the Portrait de Paris type (86 x 60 mm.), which fell from favor in the 1770s. The game is complete.

Contemporary wallet binding of worn contemporary calf (envelope flap lined with faded marbled paper, flap hinge damaged at the top), a single linen tie (fragile).

UNRECORDED VERSION of the popular 18th-century flirtatious pastime of Questions and Answers. The game was customarily played with two sets of forty cards — one set for men and the other for women. Here, the forty questions for men are penned on the playing card versos, while the women’s forty replies are inscribed in the book, which passed hand to hand as each player sought her rejoinder.
            THE GAME REVEALS THE TONGUE-IN-CHEEK NATURE OF THE CONTEMPORARY LOVE DISCOURSE AND THE POWER DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE SEXES. “Beneath the frivolous exterior of such games…lay a lively contest for power and agency” (McClure). Through literal and metaphorical wordplay, female players ridiculed their suitors and vitiated their gallant rhetoric. In good condition.
¶Craveri’s The Age of Conversation passim; McClure’s Parlour Games and the Public Life of Women in Renaissance Italy x; Lhôte, Histoire des jeux de société 457 & see 47-50, 231-299 & 636; see Seguin’s Cinq siècles de cartes à jouer en France 411-412.

Item #11483

Price: $13,500.00