“007 Die Another Day” James Bond themed playing cards, 2002.
The card-makers of Turnhout were prolific in their output and inveterate copiers.
Brepols started making playing cards in 1826, although he had been in the printing trade since 1800. In 1833 the firm was called Brepols & Dierckx (the former's son-in-law). Biermans (1875-1970) was a relatively late arrival on the Turnhout playing ...
Van Genechten started making playing cards in c.1840 and continued until the founding of Carta Mundi in 1970.
Gustaaf Mesmaekers founded his business in 1859 in association with Louis-François Moentack, who left the business in 1862.
40-card "A Todos Alumbra - Naypes Refinos" pack manufactured by Léonard Biermans, Turnhout, c.1880.
Abbey Playing Cards made in Belgium by La Turnhoutoise, c.1950s.
Advertising deck for Carta Mundi produced by Carta Mundi, 2001
Spanish-suited playing cards made in Belgium by Léonard Biermans, c.1875
Anonymous archaic Spanish Suited pack, c.1760
Special deck made for La Banque Nationale de Paris by Van Genechten, Turnhout, c.1962
Humorous pharmaceutical deck made by Antoine van Genechten for Bayer, c.1963.
Belgian cardmakers have been actively designing and exporting playing cards since the 14th century.
Promotional playing cards designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, 1960s.
BG Bouw Dutch Building Company publicity deck manufactured by Carta Mundi, c.1980.
Standard Genoese pattern with French indices made by Biermans for Cigarrillo Holiday and the Estanco de Naipes del Perú.
Biermans Genoese pattern for Clayson agricultural machinery, late 1960s.
Promotional deck designed by Ray Goossens for the Boerenbond farmers’ union, c.1968
One of the outstanding and most popular packs made by the Turnhout cardmakers was the Bongoût type. Special scenic Aces could be added to packs according to the client’s preferences.
Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.
“Cartes Françaises” and Genoese pattern by Brepols.
British Airways Concorde playing cards made in Belgium by Carta Mundi, before 2003.
Brussels Euro Joker Club's 10th Anniversary deck, with artwork by Yvette Cleuter, was produced in a limited, signed and numbered edition of 400 copies.
“Butagaz” playing cards for the French gas company, c.1976
Calavera playing cards designed by Jirs Huygen for Cartamundi, 2015
Carta Mundi was founded in Turnhout on 27 June 1970 by pooling the production and sales facilities of the three surviving companies: Brepols, Van Genechten and Leonard Biermans.
‘Cartes de Luxe’ first published by Biermans in 1877 was reproduced in facsimile by Amstel Beer in c.1980.
Advertising pack for Cerveza ‘El Gallo’ made in Belgium, c.1880
Chinese “Chi Chi Pai” Playing Cards by Mesmaekers Frères for Far East market, c.1890.
A collection of 24 cigar bands with miniature playing cards.
Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. Many of his playing cards have historical connotations and show figures with a landscape background.
Van Genechten was one of the most competent cardmakers in Turnhout and they produced almost every kind of foreign pack for clients all around the world.
Domino Cards by Mesmaekers Frères, c.1890
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
Cards from a 40-card pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm "Escalada y Vidiella" based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860.
Fake Blanchard Ace of Spades with court cards based on Hall
Multi-artist promotion deck for Le Fondation Charcot, a Multiple Sclerosis charity in Belgium, c.1990.
“Food Exchange“ playing cards designed by Ralph Dobson for the British Diabetic Association, 1973.
Four Colour Cards made in Belgium for Far Eastern markets
Dutch pattern advertising deck for Genever Giraf made by Van Genechten in the 1950s.
‘Cartes de Luxe’ with artwork by Belgian artist and designer Jean Borin (1907-1997).
Henri Meunier was a Belgian Art Nouveau lithographer, etcher, illustrator, bookbinder and poster designer of the Belle Époque. His first introduction to art was in his father's workshop; then he completed his art studies at the Academy d'Ixelles.
John Player Special non-standard playing cards created by the illustrator Nick Price, 1987
“L’Union Fait la Force”, sometimes known as “the Allied pack”, has the four suits dedicated to the victorious nations of the Second World War.
“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945.
Léonard Biermans had been employed by Brepols from 1871-1874 before opening his own playing card factory in 1875.
Advertising deck for "Jet" fuels, and "Lion Brand" No.1429 manufactured in Belgium by Biermans, 1960s.
Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.
Souvenir of Jahre Line Ferry M/S Kronprins Harald
Standard English pattern manuf’d for L.N. Mann by Van Genechten, c.1890
Playing cards designed by Max Velthuijs for KLM airlines first published c.1964
The Mesmaekers firm had been established in Turnhout in 1859 by the partnership of Gustaaf Mesmaekers and Louis-François Moentack.
Mesmaekers Spanish Pack for export to Spanish colonies and South American countries, c.1875
Mickey Kids playing cards from Disney.
‘Millennium’ limited edition playing cards by Carta Mundi, 1999
Cartes Moyen-Age by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1875
Belgian manufacturers were competing against Spanish makers. Features of the traditional Spanish designs, including many well-known brands, were imitated or plagiarised. Often they were anonymous so as to avoid importation duties in the destination c...
Philips 'Arlita' advertising playing cards manufactured by Etabl. Mesmaekers Frères S.A., Turnhout, Belgium, 1925
‘Piket Fijne Speelkaarten’ by La Turnhoutoise, c.1925-30.
“Pop Rocky” miniature playing cards with double-ended caricatures of celebrities and pop stars, originally published inside a magazine, c.1970.
Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium, c.1878
Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900
‘Première Croisade’ with single-ended courts by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1850.
Artistic playing cards with abstract designs by Renée Sturbelle, first published by Brepols S.A., Turnhout, 1947, possibly reprinted in c.1960. The designs are hand-drawn ink drawings coloured red, blue and black. 52 cards + Joker.
Spanish-suited Playing Cards manufactured by Van Genechten, c.1920
Spectrum Bridge by Cartamundi
Van Genechten first registered an Ace of Spades for English playing cards in 1885 followed by the ‘Sailor’ Joker.
Van Genechten manufactured playing cards in various styles, including specially customised versions for commercial clients wishing to advertise their own brands on the cards.
Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.
Teddy Bear playing cards designed by Peter Wood for Lyons Quickbrew Tea
Advertising decks made in Belgium by A. Van Genechten, 1960s.
A. Van Genechten ran a flourishing business, supplying various kinds of cards both inside the country and abroad including England, Spain, France, Denmark, South-East Asia, China and Japan
Belgian Tarot published by François-Jean Vandenborre, Brussels (1762-1803)
Velux - la fenêtre de toit de qualité, c.1990.
West Flanders Souvenir pack manufactured in Belgium by Mesmaekers, c.1950.
In 1919 Brepols commemorated the victories of World War I with two new packs featuring portraits of Allied leaders on the court cards and famous battle scenes on the Aces.
Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.