The BnF has a deck, for which they have neither a maker, nor a city, and for a date they have only 1723-1755. This is a French pattern regular deck (more specifically the Dauphiné pattern (called for some reason "portrait du Dauphiné") and it is here:
It is hardly anonymous: the name "F. P. Letranger" is stamped on every single card, except one.
The one card that doesn't say "F. P. Letranger" says "Andre Bertholet"
And who are Andre Bertholet and who or what is F. P. Letranger? (The words "Fait pour" suggested themselves to me; i.e. "Fait pour les étrangers"). Which would mean F. P. Letranger was not a person at all. But who is Andre Bertholet? Andre Bertholet was a master card maker of Grenoble, as described in the book:
Recherches sur les cartiers et les cartes à jouer à Grenoble, By Edmond Maignien, in -- well, I forget, but 18 something. Anyway, Google books has some of it, here
https://books.google.com/books?id=srCot ... 7&lpg=PA27
and on that page, 27, it says:
Ensuite de quoy les maîtres cartiers qui sont icy present scavoir André Bertholet, Charles Bertholet, Etienne Philippes, Antoine Reynaud, Joseph Marchand, François Piccard, Pierre Cheminade fils, tous maîtres cartiers de cette ville ont nommé à la pluralité des voix nul discordant au lieu et place dudit sr Marchand au peril des absents convoqués et non comparoissant la personne d Antoine Reynaud maître cartier de cette ville auquel ils ...
I don't actually care whether Sr. Marchand was being elected Alderman or was about to be put in the stocks. Anyway André Bertholet was a master cartier. The Cheminade family were already on my list of master cartiers of Grenoble (they made a deck in collaboration with E. Colombard and C. Bouvard, cartiers of Chambéry. The deck is here:After which the master cartiers who are here present: André Bertholet, Charles Bertholet, Etienne Philippes, Antoine Reynaud, Joseph Marchand, François Piccard, and Pierre Cheminade Jr., all masters of the city, have nominated by the plurality of voices with no dissent, and so we place sr Marchand, at the peril of being absent, summoned, and not comparing with the person of Antoine Reynaud master cartier of this city ... etc.
and it was later used by a prosecutor in Savoy to write labels on his evidence bags. (I'd read them if I knew the letters and the language.)
So what about F. P. LETRANGER? The book on page 18 says:
M Chaper possède une feuille entière de cartes, fabriquée par Pierre Cheminade. Elle contient 24 cartes ou deux jeux de figures; elles portent toutes, soit à droite, soit à gauche, ces mots FP LETRANGER (franc pour l étranger) ; elles sont sans noms des figures. Le roi de cœur a, sur la poitrine, un aigle à deux têtes; les valets, un liôn.
Au dos de cette curieuse planche on lit : "Empreinte tirée du moule de Pierre Cheminade, 2 déc 1710. Pierre Cheminade fils."
Which is all very well except that "franc for foreigners" doesn't make any sense. Maybe it's fait pour letranger, "made for export" after all.Mr. Chaper has a whole sheet of cards, made by Pierre Cheminade. It contains 24 cards or two sets of figures; they all bear, either on the right or on the left, the words FP LETRANGER (franc for foreigners); they do not have names on the figures. The king of hearts has on his breast a two-headed eagle; the valets, a lion.
On the back of this curious board we read: "Print from the mold of Pierre Cheminade, Dec 2 1710. Pierre Cheminade's sons."
But what about the date? The cards in the BnF are very like what might be printed from the block of 1710, but that doesn't tell us the dates. The anonymity of this deck is even further lessened by the fact that the original envelope is still preserved. It has printed on it
There is indeed a Place Aux Herbes in Grenoble. I guess you could buy all sorts of paper there, wholesale and retail, as well as cards (although not these, since they were made for foreigners. Or franc for foreigners, whatever that may mean.)Cartes.Fine.Faite.Par.Les.Asso
En Grose & en Dtail A Grenoble
But we still don't know the date. But someone has used the backs of these cards for notes. Here is one:
Romans-sur-Isère is a town an hour's drive from Grenoble (due to the road closure on the A49), the subject of a famous history book of the Annales school, and the location of yet another set of early card printers, including C. Bertoin who was making cards in Romans in 1693. I can't read 12.e May 1617 as anything but a date, and several other cards have dates on them, from 1617 to 1623, and each one has a town. One card says "Procedures." I can't think why anyone in 1710 would be writing dates around 1620, and of course if they were writing dates nearer to their own time, the cards must be older than the writing on them.
The card maker J. Bourlion was making cards in Grenoble in the 1612-23 period.
All the same, there seems too much tying these cards, and their envelope, to 1710, and so I suppose someone had some reason to make note of dates, with local towns, concerning 90 years earlier.