Skip to main content

La Hire: P.14628-R(42)

Object information

Current Location: In storage


La Hire
Jack of Hearts


Printmaker: Gatteaux, Nicolas Marie




From a complete pack of 52 playing-cards; hand-coloured woodcut on white laid paper with watermarked fleur-de-lis. A single image, hand-coloured in black, red, yellow, dark blue and lighter blue inks. The Jack, a full-length figure, holds a halberd in his left hand, his right hand resting on his hip. A printed title or name at lower left: 'LAHIRE'. This name for the Jack of Hearts is a reference to √Čtienne de Vignolles (1390-1443) known as La Hire, who was a military commander in the army of Charles VII. It is unique to French playing cards where the court cards are associated with historical or mythical characters. The single image pattern of the court cards was designed by engraver and sculptor, Nicolas-Marie Gatteaux (1751-1832) in 1813, whose name can be found at the centre of the shield on the Jack of Clubs. His designs were based on earlier versions of the so-called Paris pattern, which became the official French pattern in 1813. The verso is blank. The pack can be dated through reference to the Jack of Clubs, which is printed with the name for French excise administration (Administration des Contributions Indirectes) and a date of 1816. From the 19th century until 1945, the appearance of playing cards for domestic consumption was regulated by the French government and all cards were produced on watermarked paper made by the state to show payment of the stamp tax.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Spencer George Perceval, 1923

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1923) by Perceval, Spencer George


19th Century
Production date: circa AD 1816


Height 82mm x width 53mm

School or Style


Techniques used in production

Hand colouring

Identification numbers

Accession number: P.14628-R(42)
Primary reference Number: 224746
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Wednesday 5 September 2018 Updated: Monday 2 October 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "La Hire" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-17 21:06:06

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=La Hire |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-17 21:06:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...