The pack of cards by the South German Engraver, c.1496
During the second half of the fifteenth century, with printing technology commercially established and playing cards widely produced, a succession of masterly German engravers practised their art and decorative playing cards reached a zenith. The The South German Engraver was one such craftsman who produced an elaborate, Gothic interpretation of the Spanish-suited pack which appears to commemorate the marriage, in 1496, of Felipe I of Spain and Doña Juana, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella.
Sometimes referred to as "
Conforming to an archaic format of 52 cards with banner 10s, female 'Sotas', horsemen and kings, the pack is of interest on account of a number of other packs with similar characteristics surviving elsewhere, suggesting an archaic 'prototype' for the Spanish-suited genre. As can be seen, the cards are decorated - not quite 'transformed' - with birds, animals, plants, children and other miniature creatures. The suit sign of pomegranates probably alludes to the recently reclaimed kingdom of Granada. Several original examples of this pack are known, although none are coloured, and facsimile editions have also been produced.
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 Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
Pack created by Yannick Pennanguer commemorating the bicentenary of the French Revolution and the ce...
‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Spain, 1...
A pack of cards depicting characters from the famous play "The Wedding of Krechinsky" by Sukhovo-Kob...
“1952-2002 commemorative deck” customised with doodles by an uncredited artist, UK, 2011.
Masonic playing cards created by Ivan Wojnikow, 2004.
A celebration of different postal systems in Germany from 1630 to 1850, with designs by Volker Hartm...
Historical playing cards by C. L. Wüst depicting monarchs of Brazil and Portugal.
Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.
German-suited Cartomancy deck published by Johann Ernst Backofen, Nürnberg.
French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
German-suited ‘Heathen War’ playing cards published by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.
Fantasy French-suited pack produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825.
Uncut sheet of miniature Bavarian playing cards by Joseph Fetscher.
Classic German-suited Bavarian pattern by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, early 19th century.
A rare Spanish-suited deck published by J.Y. Humphreys, Philadelphia, c.1816.
French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.
French-suited Bavarian deck by Andreas Benedict Göbl, late 18th c.
Historical playing cards by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Bavarian piquet cards with oriental illustrations produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich, late 18...
‘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.
A Pomeranian Tarot deck with etchings by Georg Pommer published by Conrad Jegel, 1852.