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 manufacturer:

Léonard Biermans

11 Articles

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

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

Belle Vue Gueuze

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

Belle Vue Gueuze

Biermans Genoese pattern

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

Biermans Genoese pattern

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

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

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

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Lion Brand No.1492 : Jet Fuel

Advertising deck for "Jet" fuels, and "Lion Brand" No.1429 manufactured in Belgium by Biermans, 1960s.

Lion Brand No.1492 : Jet Fuel

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

Léonard Biermans, Turnhout

Léonard Biermans had been employed by Brepols from 1871-1874 before opening his own playing card factory in 1875.

Léonard Biermans, Turnhout

A Todos Alumbra

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

A Todos Alumbra

Portuguese Type Cards made in Belgium

Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium, c.1878.

Portuguese Type Cards made in Belgium

Naypes Finos made in Belgium

Belgian manufacturers were competing against Spanish makers. Features of the traditional Spanish designs, including many well-known brands, were imitated or plagiarised.

Naypes Finos made in Belgium

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