The World of Playing Cards Logo

Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Vienna (ex-Lyon) pattern

‘Vienna pattern’ derived from archaic Lyon pattern by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne A.G., c.1926-1934.

These designs, derived from an archaic Lyon export pattern, are known today as ‘Vienna pattern’. This example was manufactured in Austria by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne A.G., c.1926-1934, where it was used as a standard French-suited deck although no longer used in France. The queen of clubs holds a mirror and the king of spades shows the maker’s name on his sash.

Lyon Pattern by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne A.G., c.1926-1934 Lyon Pattern by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne A.G., c.1926-1934

Above: Lyon Pattern by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne A.G., c.1926-1934.

Tax stamp c.1926-1934

REFERENCES

I.P.C.S. pattern sheet 108

Peter Endebrock: Playing-Card Tax Stamps from Austria

avatar

By Matt Probert

Member since March 02, 2012

View Articles

I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.

Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.

Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.

I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.

Recommended

Dal Negro Bridge set

Dal Negro Bridge set

Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.

Vienna (ex-Lyon) pattern

Vienna (ex-Lyon) pattern

‘Vienna pattern’ derived from archaic Lyon pattern by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne A.G., c.1926-1934.

Lyons Pattern type iii

Lyons Pattern type iii

This pattern was used in various parts of eastern France but was ultimately replaced by the official ‘Paris’ pattern in c.1780.