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Published March 26, 2015 Updated June 08, 2022

Tops and Tails

‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s.

1955 Austria Piatnik Willy Mayrl Cartoon Sports Card Games Add to Collection
Willy Mayrl

‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 designed by Willy Mayrl manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s. The game comprises 48 cards forming 24 complete comical pictures which can be paired in hundreds of different combinations. Several companion games were also produced featuring animals or costumes, as nos 288 & 289 based on the same idea. The rules for the game are printed on the back of the box

‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s. ‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s. ‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s. Willy Mayrl

Above: ‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s. 48 cards forming 24 complete pictures which can be paired in up to 576 different combinations. The artist's name is not stated but is Willy Mayrl, his logo is at the bottom-right of card 18.


‘Sports Tops and Tails’ No.290 manufactured by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, c.1950s.

Visual artist Willy Mayrl (born 1915) was responsible for the artistic design of Piatnik’s playing cards for decades and also made a name for himself as a children’s book illustrator and landscape and portrait painter.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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