The card-makers of Turnhout were prolific in their output and inveterate copiers.
Gustaaf Mesmaekers founded his business in 1859 in association with Louis-François Moentack, who left the business in 1862.
Spanish-suited playing cards made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, c.1875.
“L’Union Fait la Force”, sometimes known as “the Allied pack”, has the four suits dedicated to the victorious nations of the Second World War.
The Mesmaekers firm had been established in Turnhout in 1859 by the partnership of Gustaaf Mesmaekers and Louis-François Moentack.
Mesmaekers Spanish Pack for export to Spanish colonies and South American countries, c.1875
Belgian manufacturers were competing against Spanish makers. Features of the traditional Spanish designs, including many well-known brands, were imitated or plagiarised.
Philips 'Arlita' advertising playing cards manufactured by Etabl. Mesmaekers Frères S.A., Turnhout, Belgium, 1925.
Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900.