Abbey Playing Cards made in Belgium by La Turnhoutoise, 1950s. Founded in 1881, La Turnhoutoise manufactured cards for markets the world over, including this Abbey brand for the English market with the ace of spades marked as ‘foreign’. The company was taken over by Brepols in 1960, who in turn was merged along with Van Genechten and Léonard Biermans to become Carta Mundi in 1970.
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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.
Pack of cards celebrating Allied Victory in the Second World War.
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.
Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.
Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.
Renovation 2.000 playing cards with special courts designed by Jean Hoffmann.
A collection of 24 cigar bands with miniature playing cards.
“007 Die Another Day” James Bond themed playing cards, 2002.
Spectrum Bridge by Cartamundi
Calavera playing cards designed by Jirs Huygen for Cartamundi, 2015
Promotional playing cards designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, 1960s.
Anonymous archaic Spanish Suited pack, c.1760
Promotional deck designed by Ray Goossens for the Boerenbond farmers’ union, c.1968.
Humorous pharmaceutical deck made by Antoine van Genechten for Bayer, c.1963.
“Butagaz” playing cards for the French gas company, c.1976
Mickey Kids playing cards from Disney.
Velux - la fenêtre de toit de qualité, c.1990.
Biermans Genoese pattern for Clayson agricultural machinery, late 1960s.
‘Cartes de Luxe’ with artwork by Belgian artist and designer Jean Borin (1907-1997).
Special deck made for La Banque Nationale de Paris by Van Genechten, Turnhout, c.1962.
Souvenir of Jahre Line Ferry M/S Kronprins Harald
British Airways Concorde playing cards made in Belgium by Carta Mundi, before 2003.
‘Cartes de Luxe’ first published by Biermans in 1877 was reproduced in facsimile by Amstel Beer in c.1980.
Dutch pattern advertising deck for Genever Giraf made by Van Genechten in the 1950s.
‘Piket Fijne Speelkaarten’ by La Turnhoutoise, c.1925-30.
BG Bouw Dutch Building Company publicity deck manufactured by Carta Mundi, c.1980.
Playing cards designed by Max Velthuijs for KLM airlines first published c.1964
Domino Cards by Mesmaekers Frères, c.1890
‘Millennium’ limited edition playing cards by Carta Mundi, 1999
“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945.
“Food Exchange“ playing cards designed by Ralph Dobson for the British Diabetic Association.
Spanish-suited playing cards made in Belgium by Léonard Biermans, c.1875.
Standard English pattern manuf’d for L.N. Mann by Van Genechten, c.1890.
Advertising decks made in Belgium by A. Van Genechten, 1960s.
Four Colour Cards made in Belgium for Far Eastern markets
“Cartes Françaises” and Genoese pattern by Brepols.