ABOUT THIS DECK
This facsimile deck was printed by Carta Mundi from Turnhout, Belgium, and published there and in the Netherlands by Standaard Boekhandel in 1979 (while others place it as 1980). The deck is a reproduction of an antique deck of transformation cards from France printed in 1817 (while Fields states 1832), designed by Baron/Colnel Athalin (1810-1820), an officer at the court of Louis Philippe (1830-1848, king of France). Each pip card has a different design, into which the suit signs have been incorporated. The 3 extra cards explain the deck and the courts, but ...in Dutch. #31 in Albert Field\'s book Transformation Playing Cards. Note - there was also another facsimile published by Carta Mundi in 1996.
From WOPC (http://www.wopc.co.uk/france/cartes-comiques-athalin):
Louis Marie Baptiste Atthalin’s marvellous set of transformation cards, known in France as “cartes comiques”, was first published in c.1817. The court cards are titled and depict persons from classical literature and history in a scene relating to their life, whereas the numeral cards are untitled and portray a variety of contemporary scenes or imaginary cartoons in extraordinary detail (bearing in mind the constrained size of a playing card) and which transform the humble playing card into fine art.
The scenes on the numeral cards include: soldiers, musical gatherings, farm workers, street performers, nursery scene, sailors' sleeping berth, dancers, boxers, doctor's patients, a caged bear, pipe-smoking arabs, a sedan chair, an alchemist and various allegorical scenes.
Besides being an accomplished artist, watercolourist and lithographer, Baron Louis Atthalin was a French Army officer who received numerous awards and distinctions during his military career, reaching the rank of Lieutenant General. In addition, Atthalin was a Knight in the Royal and Military Order of Saint Louis, a Grand Cross in the Royal and Military Order of Saint Ferdinand, and awarded the Order of Glory. In 1848 he retired to Alsace and devoted the rest of his life to watercolour painting.
Also see - http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10511178j/f1.item