Playing cards in the Upper Rhine region
Documentary evidence suggests that card playing established itself in Italy in 1376, and then spread rapidly northwards across the Alps into the Upper Rhine regions of Germany and Switzerland and westwards into France and Spain.
Playing cards in the Upper Rhine region
Documentary evidence suggests that card playing established itself in Italy in 1376, and then spread rapidly northwards across the Alps into the Upper Rhine regions of Germany and Switzerland and westwards into France and Spain, as suggested by the pink arrows on the above map.
In 1377, the Dominican monk Johannes von Rheinfelden from Basle wrote an allegory on the pack of cards in which he described packs containing queens, or two kings and two queens each with their 'marschalli', or packs with four, five or six kings each (i.e. 4, 5 or 6 suits), and so on
North of the Alps, the Upper Rhine emerged as an important area for early playing card manufacture. A major economic factor was the city of Basle, a significant commercial centre situated on the transit route between Italy and the Rhine valley. Many of the extant early painted and engraved playing cards originated here.
Factors facilitating the dissemination of card playing include the emergence of an urban mercantile class whose trading activities necessitated fast transport routes; the existence of cheap raw materials for printing in the form of paper; and finally the technique of reproducing the images by means of wood carving.
See also: The Stuttgart Playing Cards | The Ambras Court Hunting Deck | The Master of the Playing Cards | Early German Engraved Cards | Hofämterspiel, c.1460 | XV century Spanish cards | XV century Italian cards | Spanish-suited cards made in Germany | Early French cards | XVI century Swiss cards.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History
This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating.
Video by Art of Impossible. In this video you will get a short overview of the most important historical facts about playing cards and their history.
Archaic Spanish-suited deck with 48 cards made in Toledo in 1584.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
Reproduction of Richard Blome’s Heraldic playing cards, 1684, presented to lady guests at WCMPC Summer Meeting in 1888.
Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.
Corner Indices were a major innovation in playing card production.
Baraja Carlos IV, Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800.
A presentation of the main characteristics of the wood-block courts of the heart suit.
This is a presentation in a more straightforward fashion of the work done by Paul Bostock and me in our book of the same name.
Some further material relating to cards from nineteenth and twentieth century periodicals.
Facsimile of patriotic 1878 Tyrolean playing cards published by Piatnik in 1992.
Here are a few early advertisements relating to cards from newspapers 1684-1759 and a number of later 19th century documents of interest.
Hand-made playing cards by French prisoners of war in Porchester Castle, Hampshire, c.1796.
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.
A great many regional patterns were exported from France and subsequently copied elsewhere. Some of them became local standards in their own right.
Continuing our look at the figures from the regional patterns of France.
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).
Facsimile of Tarot de Marseille by Iohann Christoph Hes, Augsburg, c.1750.
Notgeld - Emergency Money - was in rare cases issued on playing cards.
There are some interesting packs from Goodall in the last quarter of the 19th century.
1st edition of famous Bicycle Playing Cards printed by Russell & Morgan Printing Co., Cincinnati, 1885.
Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975
Facsimile edition of Swiss suited deck first published by Johannes Müller in c.1840.
Archaic Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly by Pedro Varangot in 1786.
Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly in 1682.
“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.
Illustrated playing cards featuring comical engravings and rhymes about saints, c.1740.
Navarra pattern by an unknown cardmaker with initials I. I., 1793.
Anonymous archaic Spanish Suited pack, c.1760
Geographical playing cards sold by Henry Brome, second edition, c.1682.
French suited German engraved cards c1610 to 1650,
“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644.
Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.