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Mesmaekers & Moentack, c.1860

The Mesmaekers firm had been established in Turnhout in 1859 by the partnership of Gustaaf Mesmaekers and Louis-François Moentack.

Mesmaekers Frères factory

The Mesmaekers firm had been established in Turnhout in 1859 by the partnership of Gustaaf Mesmaekers and Louis-François Moentack. In 1862 Moentack withdrew from the partnership, leaving Gustaaf Mesmaekers who then turned to his two brothers for their support to continue the business. From then on the firm was known as Mesmaekers Frères.

Even during this early phase of the firm's enterprise a wide range of cards was already being produced: Cartes Orientales; Bongoût; Impériales; Italiennes; Suisses; Belges; Hollandaises; Allemandes; Marbrées, etc. As shown on this page, packs with scenic aces were available, adorned with landscapes or historic events, views of the Rhine, Brazil, India, Switzerland, Germany and Portugal. These were the forerunners of the modern tourist souvenir packs.

cards produced by Mesmaekers & Moentack during their partnership era, c1860

Above: cards produced by Mesmaekers & Moentack during their partnership era, c1860. The Aces depict 2 European scenes on each Ace.


hand-operated printing press from the former Mesmaekers company in Turnhout, 1855 – 1865

Above: a hand-operated printing press from the former Mesmaekers company in Turnhout, 1855 – 1865. National Museum of the Playing Card.

See also: Mesmaekers Spanish packPhilips Arlita, 1925L'Union Fait la Force, 1945Ken Lodge's Blog

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator 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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