The designs for the Saxon pattern probably originated in the 18th century, making it one of the older German-suited patterns. The Saxony coat-of-arms appears on the daus of acorns (under a lion's head) and on the daus of leaves. The pack is usually described on the daus of acorns as “Schwerdter Karte” or “Schwerter Karte” referring to the crossed swords on the coats-of-arms. The four kings are seated on thrones, each one having two suit symbols. The upper and lower knaves are all civilian figures, and the unter of bells has a bird perched on his wrist. In earlier versions six of the knaves wear hats with upturned brims, but in later versions the costumes have changed style and the unter of bells and the ober of leaves have top hats. The daus of bells shows a loving couple about to be discovered by a third person and the number cards have small decorative vignettes at the bottom.
The pack usually has 32 cards and was used principally for the game of Piquet in the early 19th century. It is known in single-figure and double-ended versions.
These cards are a reproduction of an original from 1832 and feature the knaves wearing hats with upturned brims rather than top hats. Also the tunics are simpler in style than later versions and there is no ground beneath the courts' feet.
In the double-ended versions, although more convenient, many charming features of the designs are lost.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
“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.
Kaffeehaus-Pikett featuring the old Viennese Large Crown pattern, made by ASS.
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.
Modern English court style by Games & Print Services Limited, c.1997.
1st edition of famous Bicycle Playing Cards printed by Russell & Morgan Printing Co., Cincinnati, 1885.
Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.
“Carte Romane” designed by Giorgio Pessione, 1973, celebrating the history of Rome.
Sarde pattern published by Modiano, c.1975, based on early XIX century Spanish model.
The Triestine pattern is derived from the Venetian (Trevisane) pattern but with its own characteristics.
Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975
Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.
Facsimile edition of Swiss suited deck first published by Johannes Müller in c.1840.
Navarra Pattern by Jonas Fouquet, c.1720 and c.1820.
Archaic Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly by Pedro Varangot in 1786.