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Splurge: Jean Puiforcat’s poker cards are a S$160 deck not to be played with

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.

Jean Puiforcat tea set
The Jean Puiforcat tea set.

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.

jean puiforcat playing cards
The cards.

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.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.
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