Hans Sebald Beham
Hans Beham was born in Nuremberg in 1500. Tradition suggests that he received tuition from Dürer. He began his career in 1519 using the monogram H.S.P. and this pack of woodblock playing cards was produced when he was 23 years old. He continued to work in his home town until 1525 when he was exiled for heresy. He is next known at Frankfurt in 1531, having changed his monogram to H.S.B. He died in Frankfurt on November 22, 1550.
The composition of the pack is deuce → ten, unter, ober and mounted king in each of the suits of acorns, pomegranates, leaves and roses. The deuce would have been the highest card as there were no aces. At this time the German suit-system was not yet standardised and packs are known with different systems involving everyday objects such as flowers, animals, birds, hunting equipment or coats of arms. Packs of the German suit system both with the values 1 → X and deuce → X are known. Mounted kings are also found on many sets of German playing cards into the 16th century.
The pomegranate as a suit sign is again found in the latin-suited pack of cards by the South German Engraver (c.1496) which has 52 cards running from Ace to banner 10, female 'Sota', horseman and king.
Some of the images from Hans Beham's cards were copied by other engravers from Nuremberg, in one particular case a latin-suited pack containing knave, cavalier and king.
Member since February 01, 1996
Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.
A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.
French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.
Pack conceived by Berthold Conradi, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the granting of town righ...
Dondorf Jägerkarte Nr. 465 playing cards dedicated to the theme of hunting, c.1930.
Publicity pack for the East German furniture industry, with designs by Werner-Hans Schlegel.
Eclipse Comic playing cards is a reproduction of the first transformation pack printed in the USA in...
Complete pack of 36 hand-painted and silk-inlaid playing cards with French suits made in Germany.
Review of “Trzes’ Moorish Deck” facsimile published by Ulrich Kaltenborn, Berlin, 2023.
Promotional pack for a German steel hardening business, with designs by Costante Costantini.
Some early examples of popular German playing cards from the XV and XVI centuries.
Costumes of people of Brazil, Peru and Mexico, with views of Rio de Janeiro on the aces.
The “Parisian Tarot”, early 1600s, with imagery and design synthesizing several influences.
Cards on cards in celebration of playing-card collector Franz Braun’s 75th birthday.
Artist Edward Locker’s view of London life in 1799, using every card in the pack as part of the pict...
Designs by Jürgen Pankarz for the 20th anniversary of the Wolfgang Dorn advertising agency, Cologne....
Re-edition of a French-suited Spanish pack from the Napoleonic era, with designs by J. Carrafa.
Detailed pen and ink drawings of the major arcana by the German artist Helmut Wonschick.
‘Iceberg Free State 1923’ fantasy playing cards with a cautionary moral lesson, Germany, 2006.
Pack devised by Volker Scheub depicting characters associated with the city of Tübingen.
‘Medium Aevum’ (Medieval Life) playing cards designed by Violeta Monreal, published by Heraclio Four...
Baraja conmemorativa del 130 aniversario de naipes Heraclio Fournier (1868-1998) Spain, 1998.
Publicity pack for the German brewery Nordbräu with Bavarian pattern courts (adapted).
New Orleans and Gulf souvenir playing cards from c1900 reprinted for the 52 Plus Joker Convention in...