A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
Spanische Spielkarten "Naipes Finos" No.304, manufactured by B. Dondorf designed by the catalan artist Apel-les Mestres, Barcelona, 1902.
The playing card manufacturers of Germany from 1900 until 1939 provide a complicated set of relationships that deserve closer investigation. Here are some of the standard English designs to be found.
Alice in Wonderland “Snap” 1 penny game from 1920s or 30s, made in Germany, anonymous manufacturer.
“Altenburger Bauerntrachten” commemorating 150 years of playing cards from Altenburg, designed by Andreas Wachter, 1982
These decks were produced in various grades for the German immigrant population and feature the German eagle and the German and American flags intertwined. There were two versions: one with German faces and one with American faces.
‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.
Angler Skat manufactured by VEB Altenburg, c.1981
Woodblock and stencil Animal Tarot cards, probably of German origin, 2nd half 18th century
Deck from the liberation war against Napoleon, unknown maker, c.1815.
“Antike Götter” - facsimile of antique playing cards originally manufactured by C. A. Müller, Berlin, 1830.
Elegant gold-printed playing cards in Jugendstil style designed by Otto Benz for Renault, 1987
Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989.
‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985.
During the 19th century a system of fortune telling arose in Europe using unnumbered, pictorial cards depicting popular imagery with subtitles in several languages.
The designs are a meld between the standard international pattern and German-style French-suited cards. Elements from various other standard patterns can be detected.
Deck manufactured by Johann Matheus Backofen, Nürnberg c.1800.
Sports-themed playing cards published by Badische Spielkartenfabrik, Baden, c.1930
After the Second World War, the deck continued to be produced both by the VEB Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik as “Rokoko” and by ASS-Spielkartenfabrik, Leinfelden-Echterdingen as “Baronesse”.
Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.
The King of Acorns is supposed to represent Prince Otto; the King of Leaves is Maximilian II; the King of Bells is Ludwig II; the King of Hearts is Ludwig I wearing a general's uniform. The court cards are all male, but some of the numeral cards depi...
Bavarian single-ended pattern by Vereinigte Altenburg-Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken A-G., c.1937
‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979.
Bergmannskarte, manufactured by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1816
“Berliner Originale” designed by Manfred Bofinger, 1986.
The Birkel company has produced several promotional “Schwarzer Peter” packs over the years and this one is themed on the circus.
Based upon older ‘standard’ patterns, the Kings and Queens are three-quarter length figures whilst the Jacks are full-length with legs giving the impression that they are walking about!
‘Bosco’ Playing Cards manufactured by A.S.S. for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru, 1930s
Bourgeois Tarot by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken.
C. L. Wüst Scenic Aces for Brazil
SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons.
Capilettor cartoon playing cards published by VASS, Leinfelden, 1978.
Transformation playing cards designed by Carl Johann Arnold (1829-1916), the court artist for King Friedrich Wilhem IV of Prussia
Carreras Fortune Telling Cards, 1926
“Cartes Comiques”, published by B. Dondorf, printed by chromolithography, c.1870-1888.
“Cartes Lenormand” published by H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, London, printed in Germany by B. Dondorf, 1920s.
Chérie No 7022 designed by Hans & Louise Neupert, nice vibrant artwork, swinging 60s
There have been many variations in the design of “Club Karte” including the introduction of borders, corner indices and rounded corners, and variations in the inscriptions on the Aces over the years.
Comical Dominoes game manufactured in Germany by J. W. Spear & Sons, early 1900s
“Comtesse” by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1960s.
In 1804, J.C. Cotta, a publisher and bookseller in Tübingen, Germany, produced the first set of transformation cards that was published as an actual deck of playing cards.
Darling pin-up playing cards designed by Heinz Villiger, c.1950s-60s.
“Das Lustige Familien Quartett” published by Eugen Schmidt K.G., Dresden, c.1930s
Lattmann's 'Die Spielkarte Der Feinen Welt' published in 1923.
“Der Lohn des Fleisses”, a children's card game designed by Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)
German History Quartet published by Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg, c.1930-35.
Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.
Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Railways) deck designed by Peter Becker, 1989
The court cards in this well designed double-ended pack are realistically dressed in 16th century costumes with German suit symbols. The Kings and high ranking personnel are strict and austere.
This deck was apparently made to commemorate a Shooting Festival held in Leipzig in 1884
Die 4 Jahreszeiten Quartett-Spiel illustrated by Anneliese Tesdorpf, published by F X Schmid, 1950.
“Die Kutschfahrt zur Teufelsburg” or “Coach Ride to Devil’s Castle” by Michael Palm and Lukas Zach, published by Adlung-Spiele in 2006.
Dondorf’s “Die Vogel-Welt” No. 351 quartet game, c.1905
The luxury playing card factory founded in Frankfurt am Main by Bernhard Dondorf in 1833 existed for 100 years.
Dondorf's “Microscopique Tarock“ was first published in c.1870. The scenes portrayed at each end of the trump cards are marvels of miniature graphic artwork and printing.
The four suits are associated with four countries: Clubs = Germany, Diamonds = UK, Spades = Russia and Hearts = France.
Dondorf Tarot Court Cards
Dragon Fight card game by Playmobil ®, 2014.
‘Dresdner Doppelkopf’ with scenes of Dresden, designed by Günter Schmitz, 1989.
Special deck for Erste Deutsche Sack-Centrale / DSA Textil Berlin manufactured by VEB Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik, c.1970.
During the second half of the fifteenth century, with printing technology commercially established and playing cards already a mass-produced commodity, a succession of masterly German engravers practised their art and decorative playing cards reached...
‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.
Dondorf's ‘Einköpfige Deutsche Spielkarte No.303’ (‘Single-ended German Playing Cards’) were produced during the period 1900-1930.
The Queens, who wear short sleeved dresses with bonnets adorned with chin straps and roses, hold a rose, a fan, a bird or a letter.
Spanish-suited playing cards by F. X. Schmid (Argentina) S.A.
Miniature Patience playing cards in Rococo style published by F. X. Schmid, c.1960
After the family printing business had been handed down for several generations, in 1794 Ernst Wilhelm Gottlieb Kircher founded a playing card factory in Goslar am Harz
German Fairy Tales Card Game.
French language edition of a children's quartet game published by B. Dondorf, c.1900, consisting of 40 amusing illustrations of birds and animals with humorous captions.
Filmstar-Parade Quartet card game published by F X Schmid, Munich, c.1958
“Fipps der Affe“ (Fipps the Ape) quartet game with cartoons by Wilhelm Busch published by Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, c.1960
“Folklore” by Altenburger Spielkarten Fabrik, c.1982
Deck made by Johann Jobst Forster, Nürnberg, first half of 18th century in the Paris pattern
Fortune Telling Deck by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig c.1818.
Dondorf's 'Four Continents' Patience, c.1910
Dutch playing cards promoting the annual International Four Days of Walking Event held in Holland, 2016
The beautiful artwork in Dondorf's “Fruits et Légumes” quartet game reminds us of the benefits of natural food.
Funny Snap one penny game designed in England, printed in Bavaria, c.1920.
Fussball Quartett by Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, c.1958
Dondorf's "Fynste Java Speelkaarten No.17" was published to commemorate the second marriage of King William III with Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont, on January 7, 1879.
The Valets in this deck appear in costumes of the Biedermeier period, portraying sentimental and pious poses in keeping with the iconography of traditional German playing card patterns.
Geistliche Karten, Augsburg, 1718. Each card carries a text in Gothic typeface giving advice regarding what to do and think each day. Not quite oracle or divination cards, they are more like 'a motto for the day' collection. The method of using the c...
Antique deck of old Bohemian playing cards of the German type manufactured by Georg Kapfler and dated 1611.
Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Accident Research, 1978
The German Saxon Pattern or “Schwerdter Karte”
Gerrymanders by Globe Series of Games, c.1900.
Geschichte des Buchgewerbes illustrated by Ludwig Winkler, published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck.
History of Motorcycles quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck, 1989.
A card game commemorating the first round the world flight by the Graf Zeppelin, published by J.W. Spear & Söhne, Nuremberg, in 1930.
Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.
Skat No.100 by E. Gundlach, Bielefeld, 1949.
Two charming designs by Hannelore Heise from Germany.
Playing cards designed by Hans Sebald Beham (1500–1550).
Bechstein design reprinted by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken AG former Schneider & Co., c1925.
Happy Families published by Globe Series, c.1900.
Each Ace shows views of two European capital cities.
“Historische Verkehrswege” quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pössneck, 1988.
Video by Art of Impossible. Playing cards appeared more than 1000 years ago and have changed a lot during the centuries. History of playing cards shows us that what we consider to be "normal" is a result of a long historical process.
In this video...