In the 18th century, small utilitarian pieces of furniture were in fashion, including games tables among them. The second half of this century saw board games give way to the preference for card games, frequently with large amounts of money riding on their outcome.
The presence of ladies transformed these card games into a gallant activity. While playing, participants were served suppers and refreshments that included sorbets, coffee and chocolate, drinks that then enjoyed peaks in their popularity. It was also deemed refined to consume snuff, or ground tobacco, which was stored in precious boxes that served a similar function to the fans, accessories of great luxury and correspondingly richly decorated.