The World of Playing Cards Logo

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.

Browsing keyword:

pattern

67 Articles

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

Kaffeehaus-Pikett featuring the old Viennese Large Crown pattern, made by ASS.

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

64: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 2

A continuation of the development of the off-spring of the Paris patterns and a few examples of how the French regional figures have inspired modern designers.

64: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 2

63: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 1

A great many regional patterns were exported from France and subsequently copied elsewhere. Some of them became local standards in their own right.

63: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 1

62: French regional patterns: the queens and jacks

Continuing our look at the figures from the regional patterns of France.

62: French regional patterns: the queens and jacks

Modern English Court

Modern English court style by Games & Print Services Limited, c.1997.

Modern English Court

Dal Negro Bridge set

Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.

Dal Negro Bridge set

Carte Romane

“Carte Romane” designed by Giorgio Pessione, 1973, celebrating the history of Rome.

Carte Romane

Sarde Pattern

Sarde pattern published by Modiano, c.1975, based on early XIX century Spanish model.

Sarde Pattern

Triestine Pattern

The Triestine pattern is derived from the Venetian (Trevisane) pattern but with its own characteristics.

Triestine Pattern

Trentine Pattern

Trentine Pattern

Trentine Pattern

Primiera Bolognese

Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975

Primiera Bolognese

Bergamasche Pattern

Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.

Bergamasche Pattern

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

Navarra Pattern by Jonas Fouquet, c.1720 and c.1820.

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

Navarra Pattern, 1682

Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly in 1682.

Navarra Pattern, 1682

Hermanos Solesi

“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.

Hermanos Solesi

Dvouhlavé Hrací Karty

“Dvouhlavé Hrací Karty” (Czech Seasons playing cards) made by Obchodní Tiskárny, c.1980.

Dvouhlavé Hrací Karty

AGMüller English Pattern

AGMüller standard English pattern for the Royal Jordanian Airline, 1980s

AGMüller English Pattern

Genovesi Pattern

Genoese pattern from Italy.

Genovesi Pattern

Modern Swiss-German Pattern

Modern Swiss-German Pattern by AGMüller, c.2000.

Modern Swiss-German Pattern

Skat Express

One end Berlin pattern the other standard English pattern

Skat Express

Salzburger Pattern

Salzburger pattern by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna

Salzburger Pattern

Brepols Genoese pattern

“Cartes Françaises” and Genoese pattern by Brepols.

Brepols Genoese pattern

Dutch Pattern for Van Perlstein

Brepols Dutch Pattern for Van Perlstein distillery, c.1960.

Dutch Pattern for Van Perlstein

Rhineland Pattern by KZWP

Rhineland pattern by KZWP.

Rhineland Pattern by KZWP

North German pattern

The North German pattern appeared in the mid-19th century, derived from the French ‘Paris’ pattern,

North German pattern

Bavarian Pattern

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

Bavarian Pattern

Portuguese pattern

19th century Portuguese pattern, re-printed from original woodblocks.

Portuguese pattern

Old Bavarian pattern

Uncut sheet of playing cards of the Old Bavarian pattern by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, 1780

Old Bavarian pattern

German Saxon Pattern

The German Saxon Pattern or “Schwerdter Karte”.

German Saxon Pattern

Bohemian Pattern

The Bohemian Pattern, sometimes called the Prager Pattern, has roots in the 16th century.

Bohemian Pattern

Provence Pattern

The 'Provence' pattern contains figures which go back to the fifteenth century.

Provence Pattern

L. P. Holmblad c.1840

L. P. Holmblad's house pattern used from c.1840. The K♠ carries a harp as in the traditional French-type cards; but the J♠ is sleeping with his arms folded and his shield resting behind him.

L. P. Holmblad c.1840

Benoist Laius

Spanish playing cards such as these were used in those parts of France where certain games were enjoyed, such as Aluette.

Benoist Laius

19: 19th Century Breaks With Tradition - Unusual Versions of the Standard English Pattern

The centuries-long tradition of English court cards was subject to misinterpretation and in some cases a desire for individuality. Here are some examples of breaks with that tradition.

19: 19th Century Breaks With Tradition - Unusual Versions of the Standard English Pattern

Lyons Pattern type iii

This pattern was used in various parts of eastern France but was ultimately replaced by the official ‘Paris’ pattern in c.1780.

Lyons Pattern type iii

Naipes Tipo Húngaro

32 cards Hungarian "Seasons" pattern, with Argentinean tax stamp and trade mark of six-pointed star on 7 of bells, c.1955-60.

Naipes Tipo Húngaro

La Española 2000 pattern

‘La Española 2000’ is a digitally re-drawn version of the original classic ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack and is produced in several sizes (standard, round, small and pocket).

La Española 2000  pattern

Piacentine Pattern

Piacentine Pattern, double-ended version made by Modiano, Trieste

Piacentine Pattern

Cartes Catalanes

Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France.

Cartes Catalanes

Prussian Pattern

Derived from Jagdkarten or Hunting cards with patriotic overtones and rural scenes as vignettes on the numeral cards, the Prussian pattern emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Prussian Pattern

Maciá Pattern

Maciá Pattern

Maciá Pattern

Standard Swedish Pattern

Standard Swedish type playing cards manufactured by J.O. Öberg & Son, Eskilstuna, 1929.

Standard Swedish Pattern

Wiener pattern

The Vienna pattern, or Wiener Bild, is a distant relative of the early Lyons pattern. The King of Hearts carries a scroll in his hand.

Wiener pattern

Dauphiné Pattern

The Dauphiné pattern is an archaic French pattern which was manufactured in the Lyons region from the 17th century.

Dauphiné Pattern

Genoese pattern

The design is purely 'Parisian' but the colouring is green, red, yellow and black. Belgium has taken this pattern for general use.

Genoese pattern

Paris pattern

The Paris pattern was established as such around the middle of the seventeenth century (based, perhaps, on the cards of Hector of Troyes).

Paris pattern

Piedmont Pattern

The Piedmont pattern is a very close relative to the French 'Paris' pattern. The courts are not named, however, and are divided horizontally (rather than diagonally).

Piedmont Pattern

Lombardy (or Milanesi) pattern

The origins of the Lombardy pattern probably lie in the early 19th century when it was a full-length design. It has some affinities with the French Provence and Lyons patterns which are now obsolete.

Lombardy (or Milanesi) pattern

Trevisane pattern

The double-ended version of the ‘Trevisane’ pattern originated in the early 19th century.

Trevisane pattern