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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:

Van Genechten

15 Articles

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

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

Bayer

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

Bayer

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

Genever Giraf

Dutch pattern advertising deck for Genever Giraf made by Van Genechten in the 1950s.

Genever Giraf

Manuf’d for L.N. Mann

Standard English pattern manuf’d for L.N. Mann by Van Genechten, c.1890.

Manuf’d for L.N. Mann

Tobacco advertising

Advertising decks made in Belgium by A. Van Genechten, 1960s.

Tobacco advertising

Sport No.31

Van Genechten first registered an Ace of Spades for English playing cards in 1885 followed by the ‘Sailor’ Joker.

Sport No.31

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

Dilkhus playing cards for India

Van Genechten was one of the most competent cardmakers in Turnhout and they produced almost every kind of foreign pack for clients all around the world.

Dilkhus playing cards for India

18: Belgian Cards: An Introduction

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

18: Belgian Cards: An Introduction

Van Genechten

A. Van Genechten ran a flourishing business, supplying various kinds of cards both inside the country and abroad including England, Spain, France, Denmark, South-East Asia, China and Japan.

Van Genechten

Standard Genoese

Van Genechten manufactured playing cards in various styles, including specially customised versions for commercial clients wishing to advertise their own brands on the cards.

Standard Genoese

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

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

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

Escalada y Vidiella, Montevideo c.1860

Cards from a 40-card pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm "Escalada y Vidiella" based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860.

Escalada y Vidiella, Montevideo c.1860