Jean Puiforcat is a French silversmith whose name recalls a catalogue of simple, geometric metalwork that far surpasses the memory of a face. His specialities aren’t sculptures in a grand, Michelangelo sense. Many of his most famous works take the shape of Art Deco style homeware, each created with stylistic, as well as scientific precision.
Puiforcat had a particular fondness for tea sets, but his most attainable artwork isn’t holed up in a museum, as yet. These are the Jean Puiforcat playing cards, with each deck worth S$160.
These aren’t cards you can expect to buy, and then wreck at the Chinese New Year gambling table with your cousins, or subject to stains at a drinking game. Each card in the Jeux de Cartes deck are designed by Puiforcat in Art Deco-style illustrations of the usual motifs. His second wife, Marta Estevez, a Cuban sugar heiress, lent a hand in choosing the colour scheme. The edges of the cards are also lined with silver.
It’s a stunner of a deck, but if you’re forking out S$160 for one, the most you can do is to whip it out for a quick shuffle to impress the lads before a poker game, and hope the glint of silver will dazzle them enough to mess up. Otherwise, give it a home in your display case and count yourself a proud owner of one of Puiforcat’s pieces — a relatively affordable one, nonetheless.