The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published August 03, 2011 Updated July 04, 2023

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.

Germany Bielefelder Schneider & Co Patterns and Suit Types Prussian Pattern Add to Collection

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
1,436 Articles

By Simon Wintle

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.

1 comments

James Liles's Avatar'

I'm looking for someone to help identify my great great grandma tarot card I got them through my grandpa and his family are hungering I just looking to get info on these cards so I know some things about my grandpa family


Leave a Reply


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

1984 Mit Rhino auftrumpfen

Mit Rhino auftrumpfen

Black rhinos on a publicity pack for Armstrong, a flooring company, with comic designs by Pit Flick....

1997 Walt Disney Cards II

Walt Disney Cards II

Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and other familiar Disney characters.

1985 Hilti I

Hilti I

Promotional pack for Hilti power tools, with courts in medieval costume and non-standard pips.

1990 Transair

Transair

Humorous designs promoting Transair, a German charter flight operator.

1989 Merz Pharma Skat

Merz Pharma Skat

Comic designs promoting Merz Pharma, a German drug company.

1978 escART, ec-ART, SKAT

escART, ec-ART, SKAT

Fully illustrated pack printed from etchings by Johannes Vennekamp.

1993 Hansaplast<sup>®</sup>

Hansaplast®

Advertising pack for Hansaplast, with comic courts sporting sticking plasters.

1978 Wedding of Krechinsky • Свадьба Кречинского

Wedding of Krechinsky • Свадьба Кречинского

A pack of cards depicting characters from the famous play "The Wedding of Krechinsky" by Sukhovo-Kob...

2004 Freimaurer Spielkarten / Masonic playing cards

Freimaurer Spielkarten / Masonic playing cards

Masonic playing cards created by Ivan Wojnikow, 2004.

1989 Orientierungslauf Skat

Orientierungslauf Skat

Humorous designs by Helmut Härtelt on the subject of orienteering.

1990 Borna Skat

Borna Skat

Publicity pack for the Saxon town of Borna, with designs by Andreas Wachter.

1987 Postgeschichte

Postgeschichte

A celebration of different postal systems in Germany from 1630 to 1850, with designs by Volker Hartm...

1870 Kings and Queens of Brazil & Portugal

Kings and Queens of Brazil & Portugal

Historical playing cards by C. L. Wüst depicting monarchs of Brazil and Portugal.

1825 Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger

Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger

Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.

1819 Ansbach pattern by Emil Doll

Ansbach pattern by Emil Doll

Later Ansbach or Nürnberg pattern by Emil Doll, Neustadt.

1825 Cartomancy deck by Johann Ernst Backofen

Cartomancy deck by Johann Ernst Backofen

German-suited Cartomancy deck published by Johann Ernst Backofen, Nürnberg.

1739 Trappola pack by Joseph Fetscher

Trappola pack by Joseph Fetscher

Trappola pack published by Joseph Fetscher, Graz, 1739.

1820 Animal Tarot by Joseph Fetscher

Animal Tarot by Joseph Fetscher

French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.

1820 Heathen Wars

Heathen Wars

German-suited ‘Heathen War’ playing cards published by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.

Mythological and Allegorical tarot

Mythological and Allegorical tarot

Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.

1825 Fantasy deck by Joseph Fetscher

Fantasy deck by Joseph Fetscher

Fantasy French-suited pack produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825.

1810 Miniature playing cards by Joseph Fetscher

Miniature playing cards by Joseph Fetscher

Uncut sheet of miniature Bavarian playing cards by Joseph Fetscher.

1760 Vogelspiel

Vogelspiel

Vogelspiel, a German card game known as the “cuckoo game” also known as “Gnau”.

1830 Bavaria pattern

Bavaria pattern

Classic German-suited Bavarian pattern by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, early 19th century.

Animal Tarot by Andreas Benedict Göbl

Animal Tarot by Andreas Benedict Göbl

French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.

Standard French-suited Bavarian deck by Göbl

Standard French-suited Bavarian deck by Göbl

French-suited Bavarian deck by Andreas Benedict Göbl, late 18th c.

1820 Historical playing cards by Joseph Fetscher

Historical playing cards by Joseph Fetscher

Historical playing cards by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.

Illustrated piquet cards

Illustrated piquet cards

Bavarian piquet cards with oriental illustrations produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich, late 18...

1800 Costumes of Turkey Tarot

Costumes of Turkey Tarot

‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.

1810 Natural History Tarot

Natural History Tarot

Natural History Tarot published by G M, Germany, early 19th C.

1800 Æsop’s Fables tarot

Æsop’s Fables tarot

French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.

1985 Das Nassauische Kartenspiel

Das Nassauische Kartenspiel

Pack conceived by Berthold Conradi, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the granting of town righ...

1930 Jägerkarte Nr.465

Jägerkarte Nr.465

Dondorf Jägerkarte Nr. 465 playing cards dedicated to the theme of hunting, c.1930.

1867 Englische Karten nr.190

Englische Karten nr.190

Dondorf Nr.190“Englische Karten”, 1867-1895.

1852 Pomeranian Tarot

Pomeranian Tarot

A Pomeranian Tarot deck with etchings by Georg Pommer published by Conrad Jegel, 1852.

1968 Möbel-Spiel

Möbel-Spiel

Publicity pack for the East German furniture industry, with designs by Werner-Hans Schlegel.

1690 Hand-painted and Silk-inlaid playing cards

Hand-painted and Silk-inlaid playing cards

Complete pack of 36 hand-painted and silk-inlaid playing cards with French suits made in Germany.

1994 Postillion Schafkopf

Postillion Schafkopf

Postillion Schafkopf dedicated to the history of the German postal service.

2023 Moorish Deck

Moorish Deck

Review of “Trzes’ Moorish Deck” facsimile published by Ulrich Kaltenborn, Berlin, 2023.

1994 Schweden Spielkarten

Schweden Spielkarten

54 different souvenir views of famous people and places in Sweden.