This very attractive engraved pack, albeit of a relatively simple design but with a great deal of intricate detail in the clothing and accoutrements, was made in Germany by an unknown maker c.1820-30 (possibly Bacher of Ulm). It is a fine example of the early cardmaker’s art and is hand-coloured using stencils with about 5 or 6 different colours. The double-ended courts are divided by a horizontal line and a double line serves as a border around each card. The ladies’ attire illustrates fashion from that period but they do not hold flowers or fans as is often the case. The aces are plain.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
Illustrated playing cards featuring comical engravings and rhymes about saints, c.1740.
French suited German engraved cards c1610 to 1650,
Hand-coloured Forrest Cards produced for “Young Gentlemen & Ladys who are Lovers of Ingenuity”, c.1750s.
Delightful Cards, containing variety of entertainment for young Ladies and Gentlemen c.1723.
Baraja “Neoclásica” engraved by José Martínez de Castro, first published by Clemente Roxas, Madrid, 1810.
“Baraja Mitológica” was first published in Madrid in c.1815 by Josef Monjardín from engravings by José Martínez de Castro.
Animal suited playing cards engraved by the Master of the Playing Cards, Germany, c.1455
Bubble Cards - known as “All the Bubbles”, c.1720.
Early German deck by unknown maker, c.1825
French-suited pack with full-length courts by Joseph Losch, c.1800.
Playing cards had been made as precious objects for wealthy clients since the late 14th century. They were made to look at, admire and to keep in curiosity cabinets, or perhaps to entertain ladies or educate children rather than to play with.
Playing Cards by the Master of the Banderoles, one of the earliest professional printmakers, c.1470.
Master PW Circular Playing Cards: roses, columbines, carnations, parrots and hares... everyday objects evoking life and fertility.
Deck made by Johann Jobst Forster, Nürnberg, first half of 18th century in the Paris pattern.
Deck manufactured by Johann Matheus Backofen, Nürnberg c.1800.
Finely engraved deck by F. d’Alphonse Arnoult (Paris), c.1860. 52 cards.
The most noteworthy feature of its history is that this design has since been adopted for use in Sardinia, where it is now regarded as the standard local pattern.b
During the second half of the fifteenth century, with printing technology commercially established and playing cards already a mass-produced commodity, a succession of masterly German engravers practised their art and decorative playing cards reached a zenith.
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 variant of the Spanish-suited pack.