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Belgium

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Belgian cardmakers have been actively designing and exporting playing cards since the 14th century.

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007 Die Another Day

“007 Die Another Day” James Bond themed playing cards, 2002.

007 Die Another Day 2002

18: Belgian Cards: An Introduction

The card-makers of Turnhout were prolific in their output and inveterate copiers.

18: Belgian Cards: An Introduction

21: Belgian Makers: Brepols and Biermans

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 card scene.

21: Belgian Makers: Brepols and Biermans

22: Belgian Makers: Van Genechten

Van Genechten started making playing cards in c.1840 and continued until the founding of Carta Mundi in 1970.

22: Belgian Makers: Van Genechten

23: Belgian Makers: Mesmaekers

Gustaaf Mesmaekers founded his business in 1859 in association with Louis-François Moentack, who left the business in 1862.

23: Belgian Makers: Mesmaekers

A Todos Alumbra

40-card "A Todos Alumbra - Naypes Refinos" pack manufactured by Léonard Biermans, Turnhout, c.1880.

A Todos Alumbra

Abbey Playing Cards

Abbey Playing Cards made in Belgium by La Turnhoutoise, c.1950s.

Abbey Playing Cards

Advertising deck for Carta Mundi

Advertising deck for Carta Mundi produced by Carta Mundi, 2001

Advertising deck for Carta Mundi 2001

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Spanish-suited playing cards made in Belgium by Léonard Biermans, c.1875.

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Artex Quadrilato for Tunisia

Artex Quadrilato No.333 for Tunisia

Artex Quadrilato for Tunisia

Banque Nationale de Paris, c.1962

Special deck made for La Banque Nationale de Paris by Van Genechten, Turnhout, c.1962.

Banque Nationale de Paris, c.1962 1962

Bayer

Humorous pharmaceutical deck made by Antoine van Genechten for Bayer, c.1963.

Bayer

Belgian Playing Cards

Belgian cardmakers have been actively designing and exporting playing cards since the 14th century.

Belgian Playing Cards

Belle Vue Gueuze

Promotional playing cards designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, 1960s.

Belle Vue Gueuze 1969

BG Bouw Building Company

BG Bouw Dutch Building Company publicity deck manufactured by Carta Mundi, c.1980.

BG Bouw Building Company

Biermans for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru

Standard Genoese pattern with French indices made by Biermans for Cigarrillo Holiday and the Estanco de Naipes del Perú.

Biermans for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru

Biermans Genoese pattern

Biermans Genoese pattern for Clayson agricultural machinery, late 1960s.

Biermans Genoese pattern

Boerenbond Veevoeders

Promotional deck designed by Ray Goossens for the Boerenbond farmers’ union, c.1968.

Boerenbond Veevoeders

Bongoût

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.

Bongoût

Brazil Pictorial Aces

Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.

Brazil Pictorial Aces

Brepols Genoese pattern

“Cartes Françaises” and Genoese pattern by Brepols.

Brepols Genoese pattern

British Airways Concorde

British Airways Concorde playing cards made in Belgium by Carta Mundi, before 2003.

British Airways Concorde 2003

Brussels Euro Joker Club 1998

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.

Brussels Euro Joker Club 1998 1998

Butagaz

“Butagaz” playing cards for the French gas company, c.1976

Butagaz

Calavera Playing Cards

Calavera playing cards designed by Jirs Huygen for Cartamundi, 2015

Calavera Playing Cards 2015

Carta Mundi

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.

Carta Mundi

Cartes de Luxe (1877) facsimile

‘Cartes de Luxe’ first published by Biermans in 1877 was reproduced in facsimile by Amstel Beer in c.1980.

Cartes de Luxe (1877) facsimile 1877

Cerveza ‘El Gallo’

Advertising pack for Cerveza ‘El Gallo’ made in Belgium, c.1880.

Cerveza ‘El Gallo’ 1880

Chi Chi Pai

Chinese “Chi Chi Pai” Playing Cards by Mesmaekers Frères for Far East market, c.1890.

Chi Chi Pai