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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

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Germany

237 Articles
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“Deck with French suits”

A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid. • Feb 05, 2021

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“Naipes Finos” No.304 Spanish Pack

Spanische Spielkarten "Naipes Finos" No.304, manufactured by B. Dondorf designed by the catalan artist Apel-les Mestres, Barcelona, 1902. • Jan 01, 1970

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10: Playing Cards in Germany

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. • Jul 20, 2012

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Alice in Wonderland Snap

Alice in Wonderland “Snap” 1 penny game from 1920s or 30s, made in Germany, anonymous manufacturer. • Aug 24, 2014

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Altenburger Bauerntrachten

“Altenburger Bauerntrachten” commemorating 150 years of playing cards from Altenburg, designed by Andreas Wachter, 1982 • Aug 07, 2017

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American Skat

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. • Mar 21, 2013

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Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954. • May 18, 2021

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Angler Skat

Angler Skat manufactured by VEB Altenburg, c.1981 • Dec 01, 2016

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Animal Tarot

Woodblock and stencil Animal Tarot cards, probably of German origin, 2nd half 18th century • Nov 10, 2013

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Anti-Napoleon

Deck from the liberation war against Napoleon, unknown maker, c.1815. • Apr 29, 2011

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Antike Götter

“Antike Götter” - facsimile of antique playing cards originally manufactured by C. A. Müller, Berlin, 1830. • Aug 11, 2017

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Art Nouveau

Elegant gold-printed playing cards in Jugendstil style designed by Otto Benz for Renault, 1987 • Nov 05, 2017

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ASS

• Aug 07, 2011

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Asterix Abenteuer

Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989. • Apr 01, 2021

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August der Starke

‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985. • Sep 28, 2017

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Austrian Cartomancy Cards

During the 19th century a system of fortune telling arose in Europe using unnumbered, pictorial cards depicting popular imagery with subtitles in several languages. • Apr 23, 2014

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B. Dondorf GmbH: Neue Klubkarte No.422

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. • Aug 12, 2012

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Backofen

Deck manufactured by Johann Matheus Backofen, Nürnberg c.1800. • Apr 23, 2011

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Badische Spielkartenfabrik

Sports-themed playing cards published by Badische Spielkartenfabrik, Baden, c.1930 • Apr 04, 2013

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Baronesse Whist No.160

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”. • Jul 23, 2012

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Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989. • Feb 09, 2021

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Bavarian Military Cards

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 depict women. • Mar 24, 2013

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Bavarian Pattern

Bavarian single-ended pattern by Vereinigte Altenburg-Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken A-G., c.1937 • Aug 02, 2014

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Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979. • Feb 07, 2021

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Bergmannskarte

Bergmannskarte, manufactured by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1816 • Apr 28, 2011

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Berliner Originale

“Berliner Originale” designed by Manfred Bofinger, 1986. • Jan 03, 2018

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Birkel Schwarzer Peter

The Birkel company has produced several promotional “Schwarzer Peter” packs over the years and this one is themed on the circus. • May 03, 2014

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Birma Karte

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! • Dec 27, 2012

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Bosco by A.S.S. for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru

‘Bosco’ Playing Cards manufactured by A.S.S. for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru, 1930s • Nov 02, 2012

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Bourgeois Tarot

Bourgeois Tarot by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken. • Aug 07, 2011

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Brazil Scenic Aces

C. L. Wüst Scenic Aces for Brazil • Jul 31, 2011

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C.L. Wüst, 1811 - 1927

SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons. • Feb 01, 2016

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Capilettor

Capilettor cartoon playing cards published by VASS, Leinfelden, 1978. • Apr 28, 2020

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Carl Arnold Transformation

Transformation playing cards designed by Carl Johann Arnold (1829-1916), the court artist for King Friedrich Wilhem IV of Prussia • Dec 17, 2014

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Carreras Fortune Telling Cards

Carreras Fortune Telling Cards, 1926 • Mar 14, 2012

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Cartes Comiques, 1870-1888

“Cartes Comiques”, published by B. Dondorf, printed by chromolithography, c.1870-1888. • Aug 13, 2012

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Cartes Lenormand

“Cartes Lenormand” published by H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, London, printed in Germany by B. Dondorf, 1920s. • Sep 17, 2011

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Chérie

Chérie No 7022 designed by Hans & Louise Neupert, nice vibrant artwork, swinging 60s • Apr 08, 2017

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Club Karte

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. • Aug 02, 2012

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Comical Dominoes

Comical Dominoes game manufactured in Germany by J. W. Spear & Sons, early 1900s • Aug 27, 2015

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Comtesse

“Comtesse” by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1960s. • Jan 08, 2017

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Cotta Transformation playing cards

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. • Jan 13, 2014

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Darling

Darling pin-up playing cards designed by Heinz Villiger, c.1950s-60s. • Dec 05, 2020

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Das Lustige Familien Quartett

“Das Lustige Familien Quartett” published by Eugen Schmidt K.G., Dresden, c.1930s • Jun 22, 2014

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Der Feinen Welt

Lattmann's 'Die Spielkarte Der Feinen Welt' published in 1923. • Nov 14, 2012

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Der Lohn des Fleisses

“Der Lohn des Fleisses”, a children's card game designed by Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908) • Jun 23, 2014

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Deutsche Geschichte

German History Quartet published by Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg, c.1930-35. • Jun 29, 2019

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Deutsche Nutzpflanzen

Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938. • Aug 29, 2020

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Deutsche Reichsbahn

Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Railways) deck designed by Peter Becker, 1989 • Jul 29, 2017

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Deutsches Luxusbild

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. • Aug 09, 2012

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Deutsches Schützenfest 1884

This deck was apparently made to commemorate a Shooting Festival held in Leipzig in 1884 • Jul 11, 2013