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Cultural addresses in the Greater Region
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Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the framework of the programme Interreg IVA Grande Région.
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Dieudonne_small

Kulturhuef Musée Grevenmacher (Spielkarten JEAN DIEUDONNÉ)

Summary
The playing-card museum Jean Dieudonné illustrates the various techniques of playing-card production and shows a changing selection from its extensive playing-card collection*. Jean Dieudonné came from the Metz region and settled in Grevenmacher as a card maker in 1754. Until 1880, a dynasty of five generations of playing-card manufacturers successfully maintained a flourishing trade with a product that was both popular and aesthetically pleasing beyond the changes of the various political regimes.

*Loans from the Luxembourg National Museum of Art and History and private donations
More information
The museum

The museum is dedicated to Jean Dieudonné, the founder of a dynasty of card makers who settled in Grevenmacher in 1754 and produced mainly for a foreign market. The tax advantages in Luxembourg created optimal sales conditions for a flourishing craft and his descendants continued to run the manufactories until 1880, when Jean-Paul Dieudonné abandoned the production. During its heyday, the company had to defy violent political changes. For example, after the French Revolution and the annexation of Luxembourg in 1795, crowned figures were no longer to be displayed on playing cards. The playing-card tax introduced in 1797 by the French government presented a great challenge to the commerce of the Dieudonné family. The subsequent Dutch government abolished the playing-card tax while, later, in 1905, the Luxembourg government introduced it again. By that time, however, Dieudonné's manufactories had ceased to operate.

The collection

Numerous printing plates, printing sheets, individual cards and tools document the production process and the variations in techniques over time. Most of the objects on display are on loan from the Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art, Luxembourg. Playing cards from the Dieudonné manufactory are another focal point. Thanks to the help of the city of Grevenmacher, a completely preserved deck of cards from the Manufacture Antoine Dieudonné was purchased in 2006 and is available as a reproduction in the shop.
The collection also includes playing cards with Luxembourg covers and representative playing cards "from all over the world". Intermediately, the inventoried playing cards in the archive will be accessible digitally to the public.

Old card games: "Mënsch", an old Luxembourg card game

As part of the special exhibition "Spillkaarten made in Luxembourg", the Kulturhuef revived the old game "Mënsch". Documents show that this game was widespread until the beginning of the 19th century. Today it is only known to the older generation from Luxembourg and the Greater Region. Mostly played in cafés, it is a trump game with 4 players. The biggest challenge is to find your partner, as this is arbitrary (Kreuz Dame plays with Pik As). The game instructions are available (in Luxembourgish) in the shop.

Workshops

Workshops for children are organised in which an individualised card game can be created.

Guided tours

Throughout the year the Kulturhuef offers free guided tours of the Playing Card Museum on Sundays and public holidays. Guided tours for larger groups or on other days are available on request at any time. The cost per guided tour is currently 60 EUR for a maximum of 20 participants. Duration approx. 1-1,5 h. 
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