There are many standard patterns in Europe that British people only come across when they are abroad (unless they are collectors), so I thought it would be useful to illustrate a number of these to help with identification. Since I no longer collect such packs, it's thanks again to Rex Pitts for supplying most of the scans.
There are basically three suit systems in Europe: French (spades, hearts, clubs, diamonds), German (leaves, hearts, acorns, bells), Italo-Spanish (swords, cups, clubs, coins). I illustrate each below.
Note that the Swiss suits are different from the German ones in two of them: shields, flowers, acorns and bells.
The Italian swords and clubs are often interlaced, whereas the Spanish ones are separated. The interlacing comes from the traditional tarot suit arrangements, though not all Italian regional patterns have this feature.
The Piacentine pattern with double-ended courts
And a selection of Spanish-suited cards (Neapolitan card in the centre)
All these systems of suit signs are used in the various standard regional patterns, a few of which I illustrate on other pages. The most comprehensive treatment of standard patterns is to be found in Sylvia Mann's All cards on the table/Alle Karten auf dem Tisch (1990, Jonas Verlag).
The English names of the French suit-signs are a strange mixture: pique is replaced by the borrowing of the equivalent Spanish suit-sign spade; cœur is translated directly as heart; trèfle is replaced by the translation of the equivalent Spanish suit-sign club; and diamond is anybody's guess (the French carreau means 'a paving tile').
To finish this post I'll illustrate a few more of the French-suited standard patterns.
Austrian pattern A with large crowns; oddly the box refers to "Französisches Bild", the name used in Germany for the Berlin pattern (see next item)
Berlin pattern, the North German version of the old Paris pattern
An earlier version by Lattmann, c.1900
Another early version by Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken
A version of the standard Berlin pattern (französisches Bild) by Stralsunder, c.1925. Note that the indices are a hybrid of English and German: K D J!!!
The Belgian version of the Paris pattern; this one was made by Artex, Budapest, with English indices. The same pattern is found in Genoa.
Dutch standard pattern; several of the courts are derived from the old Paris pattern
For some examples of earlier European standards with French suit-signs, see page 11. For further examples, see page 25.