A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
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.
This miniature pack is very similar to one made by C.L.Wúst in c.1890.
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.
Woodblock and stencil Animal Tarot cards, probably of German origin, 2nd half 18th century.
“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
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.
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 depict women.
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.
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.
SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons.
Transformation playing cards designed by Carl Johann Arnold (1829-1916), the court artist for King Friedrich Wilhem IV of Prussia
“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.
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.
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.
“Das Lustige Familien Quartett” published by Eugen Schmidt K.G., Dresden, c.1930s
“Der Lohn des Fleisses”, a children's card game designed by Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908).
Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.
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.