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.

Cartes Catalanes

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

French Catalan pattern

Cartes Catalanes by Dieudonné et Cie, France, c.1895

These Spanish-suited cards are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France which has strong Catalan traditions. The French Catalan pattern seems to have developed its own identity in Perpignan at the end of the eighteenth century. The designs are derived from the old “Spanish National” pattern but are different from the modern Catalan pattern. The broken frame lines, or ‘pintas’, have been preserved.

Cartes Catalanes, 1895

Above: Cartes Catalanes by Dieudonné et Cie, France, c.1895. The cards are manufactured by descendents of Jean Dieudonné of Grevenmacher (c.1720-1795).

Cartes Catalanes by La Ducale, France

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

Above: Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France., 48 cards.

See also: The Dauphiné pattern   The Paris pattern   The Genoese pattern   Spanish-suited cards by B. P. Grimaud   Cards for Algeria by B.P. Grimaud   The 'Parisian' Spanish pattern   Boisse English pattern, c.1870   Dieudonné & Cie, Aluette  

avatar

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

Recommended

Wüst Spanish pattern

Wüst Spanish pattern

Wüst Spanish pattern c.1910 advertising Cuban ‘Tropical’ beer.

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

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

64: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 2

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.

63: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 1

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.

62: French regional patterns: the queens and jacks

62: French regional patterns: the queens and jacks

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

61: French regional patterns: the kings

61: French regional patterns: the kings

On page 11 I illustrated several examples of the regional French patterns from Sylvia Mann's collection; this is a more in-depth look at the figures of these patterns ("portraits" in French).

Modern English Court

Modern English Court

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

Dal Negro Bridge set

Dal Negro Bridge set

Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.

Carte Romane

Carte Romane

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

Sarde Pattern

Sarde Pattern

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

Triestine Pattern

Triestine Pattern

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

Trentine Pattern

Trentine Pattern

Trentine Pattern

Primiera Bolognese

Primiera Bolognese

Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975

Bergamasche Pattern

Bergamasche Pattern

Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

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

Navarra Pattern, 1682

Navarra Pattern, 1682

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

Hermanos Solesi

Hermanos Solesi

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

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards appear to depict Spanish conquistadors © 1994.

Dvouhlavé Hrací Karty

Dvouhlavé Hrací Karty

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

AGMüller English Pattern

AGMüller English Pattern

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

J. Muñoz, Getafe (Madrid) c.1870s

J. Muñoz, Getafe (Madrid) c.1870s

Catalan pattern by unusual manufacturer from Madrid, J. Muñoz, Getafe, c.1870s.

Georg Kapfler

Georg Kapfler

Antique deck of old Bohemian playing cards of the German type manufactured by Georg Kapfler and dated 1611.

Genovesi Pattern

Genovesi Pattern

Genoese pattern from Italy.

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Naipes ‘El Leon’ 1897

Naipes ‘El Leon’ 1897

Naipes ‘El Leon’ manufactured by Federico Hidalgo (Barcelona, 1897-1899).

‘El Cid’ by Simeon Durá, Valencia, Spain

‘El Cid’ by Simeon Durá, Valencia, Spain

‘El Cid’ playing cards manufactured by Simeon Durá, Valencia, Spain.

Modern Swiss-German Pattern

Modern Swiss-German Pattern

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

Skat Express

Skat Express

One end Berlin pattern the other standard English pattern

Naipe Cantaclaro

Naipe Cantaclaro

A colourful version of the Spanish Catalan pattern from Colombia, with a crowing cockerel on the 4 of cups.

Naipes ‘La Criolla’ by Anabella Corsi

Naipes ‘La Criolla’ by Anabella Corsi

Inspired by an archaic Spanish pattern formerly used in Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Naipes Artiguistas, 1816

Naipes Artiguistas, 1816

Naipes Artiguistas published in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Rios province (Argentina) in 1816, by Fray Solano García.

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

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

Canary Islands Souvenir

Canary Islands Souvenir

Canary Islands Souvenir by Heraclio Fournier, c.1970.

Gráfica S.A., Bs Aires

Gráfica S.A., Bs Aires

Gráfica S.A. of Buenos Aires has produced a number of brands using the Catalan pattern.

Salzburger Pattern

Salzburger Pattern

Salzburger pattern by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna

Martínez de León

Martínez de León

Bull-fighters pack published by Hijos de Heraclio Fournier, Vitoria (Spain) with artwork by Andrés Martínez de León, 1951.

Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s.

Jeu D’Aluettes - Boéchat Frères c.1950

Jeu D’Aluettes - Boéchat Frères c.1950

Jeu D’Aluettes manufactured by Boéchat Frères, Bordeaux, c.1950 with archaic Spanish features mixed with the standard Catalan pattern

Heráldica Castanyer

Heráldica Castanyer

Spanish Catalan pattern No.6 by Heráldica Castanyer, Sabadell (Barcelona), c.1980.

Cartes à Jouer Espagnoles

Cartes à Jouer Espagnoles

Cartes à Jouer Espagnoles Héron - Catalan pattern.