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:

Vereinigte Altenburger-Stralsunder

34 Articles

SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons.

C.L. Wüst, 1811 - 1927

SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons.

C.L. Wüst, 1811 - 1927

Asterix Abenteuer

Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989.

Asterix Abenteuer

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

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

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

Einhorn

‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.

Einhorn

Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955.

Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Märchenquartett

Fairy Tales quartet designed by Annemarie Gramberg, published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken AG, 1955.

Märchenquartett

Art Nouveau

Elegant gold-printed playing cards in Jugendstil style designed by Otto Benz for Renault, 1987

Art Nouveau

August der Starke

‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985.

August der Starke

Altenburger Bauerntrachten

“Altenburger Bauerntrachten” commemorating 150 years of playing cards from Altenburg, designed by Andreas Wachter, 1982.

Altenburger Bauerntrachten

Geprüfte Sicherheit

Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Accident Research, 1978

Geprüfte Sicherheit

Wild und Hund Skat

Hunting deck designed by Walter Niedl for “Wild und Hund” magazine, c.1977

Wild und Hund Skat

Hunter’s Bridge

“Hunter’s Bridge” playing cards by ASS depicting animals and associated symbols of hunting, c.1976.

Hunter’s Bridge

Schlager Film Revue

Schlager Film Revue “Hot and Sweet” Quartett für Teenager, 1964.

Schlager Film Revue

Skat Politisch

Political “Skat Politisch” published by ASS, 1976

Skat Politisch

C.L. Wüst, 1811 - 1927

SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons.

C.L. Wüst, 1811 - 1927

The Muppet Show

“The Muppet Show” playing cards made by ASS Altenburger in 1978.

The Muppet Show

Polit-Poker 1984

“Polit-Poker” designed by Bubec (Lutz Backes), 1984.

Polit-Poker 1984

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

Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)

Wilhelm Busch was a German caricaturist and humourist who lived from 1832-1908. There are many card games made in Germany using his characters.

Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)

Schwarzer Peter

Art Deco style “Schwarzer Peter” card game published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken A.G., Stuttgart.

Schwarzer Peter

Walt Disney “Schwarzer Peter”

Walt Disney “Schwarzer Peter” game published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken A.G.

Walt Disney “Schwarzer Peter”

German Saxon Pattern

The German Saxon Pattern or “Schwerdter Karte”.

German Saxon Pattern

28: How to Analyze and Differentiate Playing Card Plates (De La Rue, Waddington and the Berlin pattern [französisches Bild])

My interest in postage stamp variants led me to apply the same principles to playing cards.

28: How to Analyze and Differentiate Playing Card Plates (De La Rue, Waddington and the Berlin pattern [französisches Bild])

Otto Tragy Jugendstil Spielkarten

Special Jugendstil playing cards designed by Otto Tragy and first published by Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik Schneider & Co. in c.1898.

Otto Tragy Jugendstil Spielkarten

Osram Advertising Playing Cards

The court cards feature double-ended light-bulb people (the Kings are repeated in each suit) and the numeral cards have vignettes at each end illustrating how Osram light bulbs lighten the darkness.

Osram Advertising Playing Cards

Bosco by A.S.S. for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru

‘Bosco’ Playing Cards manufactured by A.S.S. for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru, 1930s.

Bosco by A.S.S. for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru

Original Skatgeld der Stadt Altenburg

“Original Skatgeld der Stadt Altenburg” featuring the emergency money of 1921 designed by Otto Pech

Original Skatgeld der Stadt Altenburg

Bourgeois Tarot

Bourgeois Tarot by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken.

Bourgeois Tarot

Lenormand Cartomancy

Mlle Lenormand Cartomancy deck made by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken, Stralsund, c.1890.

Lenormand Cartomancy

Western PCC

The Western Playing Card Company was formed in 1927. The exact history and origins are not clear.

Western PCC

Jany Group

Deck issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken, 1983.

Jany Group

Simultané

The rigour of simple geometric forms with an inner life and poetry which emanated from the richness of colour, the musicality of rhythm, the vibrant breath of the execution...

Simultané