During the 19th century a system of fortune telling arose in Europe using unnumbered, pictorial cards depicting popular imagery with subtitles in several languages.
Czech “Hussite” Pack engraved by Karel Hoffmann and first printed by Jan Ritter in 1895.
A colourful re-working of the standard Anglo-American pattern in Art Deco style.
The court cards in this delightful Art Deco pack represent persons in various colourfully embroidered folkloric costumes. Designed by Hungarian artist Ilona Radnainé Szöredi, who specialised in folk needlework. The cards were produced by Piatnik's Hungarian branch in Budapest, 1932.
Piatnik was known for their magnificent quality of chromo-lithographic printing, and this facsimile, or reprint, of “Soldaten Tarock No. 217” is virtually as magnificent as the original.
In around 1909 he created three sets of playing cards. One set used grotesque imagery and visual puns from his caricatures and doodles, with the suit symbols integrated into the designs as hats or body parts. Another set (shown here) is more severe and geometric, with double-ended courts. His inventiveness was driven by a passion for rules, order and numbers.
Intended to attract donations on behalf of the Imperial Royal Austrian Military Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund, this elegant and refined deck was designed by Nellie Stern. The deck was printed by Ferdinand Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna in 1916.
Bernhard Altmann is from the “The House of Cashmere” and these playing cards honour their best known commodity: the fleece of the graceful horned Cashmere goat. Hans Lang created the symbolic artwork for the deck, dedicating each suit to the group of people that had the greatest significance for Cashmere through the ages: Hearts-Indians; Diamonds-Mongolians; Spades-Persians; Clubs-Chinese.
Lithuanian Playing Cards, reprinted by Piatnik, 1995, 2004.
Deck of "Industrie und Glück" or "Rural Scenes" tarock cards manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna, c.1910. The Trumps feature rural scenes and costumes from different regions. Trump II shows a crowned eagle with a sword and sceptre clasped in one claw, perched on a rock bearing the legend "Industrie und Glück".
Non-Standard Literary Figures playing cards manufactured by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne A.G., Vienna, 1924.