Dutch costume playing cards, as shown below, came into production in about 1860.
During the following decades similar packs were printed by several makers in Belgium and Germany. All the packs made depict the same figures on the court cards and all have Dutch scenic aces. The designer of these cards is unknown.
- King of Diamonds: Prince Willem I (the Silent) 1533-1584. Seen as the founding father of The Netherlands.
- King of Hearts: Prince Maurits 1567-1625. Son of Willem 1. Stadholder and captain general of the army of the United provinces of The Netherlands.
- King of Clubs: Prince Fredrik Hendrik 1584-1647. Son of Willem 1. Stadholder of 6 provinces in the Dutch Republic. Succeeded Marurits in 1625.
- King of Spades: Prince Willem III 1650-1702. Stadholder of 5 united provinces of The Netherlands and King of England, Scotland and Ireland (1689-1702).
The queens and jacks depict figures in Dutch regional costumes from the nineteenth century.
These packs were primarily sold in The Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) often under the name Nationale Speelkaarten.
Production of these cards ceased in about 1880 when fashions and interest changed.
The pack shown below is an early version of this pattern. The museum in Turnhout has a similar pack dated 1862.
I hope to provide more detailed information about the makers in later posts.
All cards shown are from the collection of Paul Symons ©.
Member since February 01, 2016View Articles
I'm British but I have now lived in the Netherlands for 50 years and have enjoyed every minute of it. I started collecting playing cards in the early 1980’s after speaking with my neighbour who was at that time a croupier in a casino. I started with just collecting jokers, but that soon led me to complete packs of cards and eventually to specialising in old and antique playing cards, particularly those of C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt, Germany. I am presently the Dutch representative of the I.P.C.S. and the auctioneer at the IPCS conventions.
Promotional pack for a Dutch Celtic folk band which performs Irish, Scottish and Dutch folk music, c.2004.
Kings and Queens of Portugal between 1185 - 1279. by V. de J.J. Nunes , Lisbon, Portugal, 1977.
Portuguese regional costumes published by the French division of Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor.
Elegant, elongated cards designed by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Pack of cards celebrating Allied Victory in the Second World War.
Playing cards featuring traditional folk costumes from Romania.
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Souvenir pack from Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, c.1985.
Estonian national costumes and everyday items feature on this pack made in Estonia.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.
Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.
In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.
In this newsletter we’re looking at how fashion and costume is represented through playing card art since the 14th century through to today.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History
This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating.
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Video by Art of Impossible. In this video you will get a short overview of the most important historical facts about playing cards and their history.
‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.
Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.
Archaic Spanish-suited deck with 48 cards made in Toledo in 1584.
Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.
Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, 1938.
“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.
Asperge Kwartet published by Knorr.
Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.
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.
Nature Quartet game published by Staatsbosbeheer, printed by Roem Speelkaarten, Kampen.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.
Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.