The World of Playing Cards Logo

Prussian Pattern

Derived from Jagdkarten or Hunting cards with patriotic overtones and rural scenes as vignettes on the numeral cards, the Prussian pattern emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Prussian Pattern, later type

detail from Deuce of Acorns, Prussian Pattern, later type, Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, 1970

Derived from Jagdkarten or Hunting cards with patriotic overtones, the Prussian pattern coincided with the emergence of politically ambitious Prussia in the middle of the nineteenth century. The figures are largely drawn from the Prussian bourgeoisie with rural scenes as vignettes on the numeral cards. By around 1865 these previously single-figure packs had settled into a standard double-ended version which has had few variations since and embraces a more general theme in its illustration, the lower court cards portraying a more varied set of characters. At first the pattern showed a more or less constant set of vignettes on the numeral cards (known as "Genrebildchen") but possibly as a result of the increased facilities for travel, it later entered the souvenir market with the second type depicting views, usually of the surrounding area in which the cards were made.

Prussian Pattern, later type, Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, 1970 Prussian Pattern, later type, Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, 1970

Above: cards from 32-card Prussian pattern deck manufactured by Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, 1970. Reverse: black criss-cross.

An edition of the Prussian pattern by B. Dondorf c.1930 can be seen here. The pack is still made and used and has also been made in Silesia and Cracow. The example shown below is from an antique deck made in Altenburg around 1895.

Prussian Pattern, later type, Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik Schneider & Co., c.1895

Above: cards from well-used deck made by "Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik Schneider & Co." in Altenburg about 1895 (because of the additional index numbers on the pip cards). Schneider & Co. was the successor of "Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik AG" which was the successor of Gebrüder Bechstein - hence the "B" in the star. Possibly as a result of the increased facilities for travel, the Prussian II pattern emerged with unchanged court figures but with views of cities and landscapes as vignettes on the numeral cards, often reflecting scenes to be found in the area of the maker. Image courtesy Harold Langen.

See also:   Souvenir Playing CardsGermany HomepageGeistliche Karten, Augsburg, 1718Johann Jobst ForsterJoseph Losch, c.1800Joh. Matheus Backofen, c.1800‘Victory Deck’, c.1815Anti-Napoleon Deck, c.1815Bergmannskarte, c.1816Schiller Deck, C.L. Wüst, c.1830Verkehrte Welt Tarock, c.1850Johann Jegel's Historical Deck, c.1850Narren-Karte by C. H. Reuter, c.1860Dondorf Tarot Microscopique, c.1870Wüst Swiss Album PatienceC.L. Wüst: Brazil Scenic AcesMlle Lenormand Cartomancy CardsHistoric Boston Souvenir Playing CardsNew Zealand Pictorial Playing CardsPanama Canal Souvenir Playing CardsSpanish Republic SouvenirSwiss Scenic Aces Souvenir Playing CardsSwiss Album PatienceSouvenir packs for King Christian of DenmarkVistas del Perú Souvenir Playing Cards

avatar

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator 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.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

1967 My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady

Theatre programme in the form of a pack of cards. East Germany, c.1967.

1868 German hunting pack by Theodor Wegener

German hunting pack by Theodor Wegener

Hunters, animals and birds feature on all but the Kings in this pack by Theodor Wegener, c.1863-70.

1930 Dondorf related ephemera

Dondorf related ephemera

A few items used for advertising or displaying Dondorf playing card products.

1910 C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.

1890 Miniature Theatre playing cards

Miniature Theatre playing cards

Miniature playing cards, possibly for children, with a romantic theatrical theme. C.L. Wüst c.1890.

1900 A miniature theatrical pack of playing cards, Germany? c.1900

A miniature theatrical pack of playing cards, Germany? c.1900

This miniature pack is very similar to one made by C.L.Wúst in c.1890.

1915 Playing cards for the Bombay Market

Playing cards for the Bombay Market

An interesting pack of playing cards with illustrated Indian aces made "Specially for the Bombay Market", c.1915.

1808 The Kiss, 1808

The Kiss, 1808

‘Aphorisms on the Kiss’ published by C. A. Solbrig, Leipzig, 1808.

1910 Wüst Spanish pattern

Wüst Spanish pattern

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

Anonymous possibly Kaspar Traugott Knaut.

Anonymous possibly Kaspar Traugott Knaut.

The maker is possibly Kaspar Traugott Knaut (1799-1881).

1906 Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.

History of Playing Cards explained in 5 Minutes

History of Playing Cards explained in 5 Minutes

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.

J. W. Spear and Sons

J. W. Spear and Sons

Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany

1954 Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.

1989 Geschichte des Buchgewerbes

Geschichte des Buchgewerbes

Geschichte des Buchgewerbes illustrated by Ludwig Winkler, published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck.

So Fängt Es An

So Fängt Es An

“So Fängt Es An” beautifully illustrated by M. Neugebauer, published by Helingsche Verlagsanstalt, c.1950.

1958 Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt

Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt

“Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt” transport quartet game by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1958.

1989 Asterix Abenteuer

Asterix Abenteuer

Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989.

Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien

Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien

‘Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien’ family card game by Dondorf.

1906 Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.

Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.

1979 Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979.

“Deck with French suits”

“Deck with French suits”

A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.

Geschichte des Motorrades

Geschichte des Motorrades

History of Motorcycles quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck, 1989.

1973 Loriot Rummy

Loriot Rummy

Delightful comical deck designed by Loriot, the German cartoonist and comedian, 1973.

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

Kaffeehaus-Pikett

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

1984 Musikinstrumente

Musikinstrumente

Musikinstrumente quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1984.

1988 Seefahrers II

Seefahrers II

‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.

1960 Darling

Darling

Darling pin-up playing cards designed by Heinz Villiger, c.1950s-60s.

1970 Sprookjes Kwartet

Sprookjes Kwartet

Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.

1986 Einhorn

Einhorn

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

1958 Renovation 2.000

Renovation 2.000

Renovation 2.000 playing cards with special courts designed by Jean Hoffmann.

1960 Märchen-Quartett

Märchen-Quartett

Fairy Tales quartet game by F.X. Schmid, Munich, 1960.

Deutsche Nutzpflanzen

Deutsche Nutzpflanzen

Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.

1915 Märchen-Quartett

Märchen-Quartett

Märchen-Quartett (Fairy Tales) illustrated by J. P. Werth and published by J. W. Spear & Söhne, c.1915.

One Penny Games

One Penny Games

One Penny Card Games, 1920s.

One Penny Games 2

One Penny Games 2

One Penny Card Games, 1900-1910, mostly anonymous 'Snap' games and made in Germany.

1955 Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

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