Jacob Holmblad c.1830

An amazing difference can be seen between the early and the later Jacob Holmblad packs, covering a time span of only 17 years. The earlier production was by stencil-coloured woodcut prints, but in around 1830 he adopted the newer techniques of lithography. Over the years Jacob Holmblad developed considerable workmanship and his playing cards became a success: already in 1823 he was advertising playing cards in ‘extra fine’ and ‘fine’ qualities. His advertisements also included Animal Tarots →

Fine quality cards by Jacob Holmblad, grand-father of Danish playing cards, Copenhagen, c.1830

Above: double-ended playing cards by Jacob Holmblad, later period, c.1830. The red over-stamp on the A♥ refers to Jacob Holmblad's royal licence to print playing-cards which had been granted in 1820. The Danish playing-card tax stamp has three lions and a crown. The J♣ has the manufacturer's name.

After Jacob Holmblad's death in 1837, playing-card production was continued by his son Lauritz Peter Holmblad (1815-1890)   see more →


Hinrup, Hans J.: The Holmblad Playing Card Patterns, in "The Playing-Card" vol.33 no.4, IPCS London, Apr-June 2005.

Jensen, K. Frank: French suited tarot packs in Denmark and the Jacob Holmblad Animal tarot, in "The Playing-Card" vol.36 no.3, IPCS London, Apr-June 2008.   [download here].

All images courtesy K. Frank Jensen.

See earlier Jacob Holmblad decks →

Last Updated February 21, 2016 at 02:07pm


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