Based on the legend of William Tell
Although primarily associated with Hungary, the deck was also used in Austria, Bohemia and Bosnia. Featuring German suit symbols, the 'Hungarian' or 'Seasons' pattern depicts seasonal scenes on the four Aces. For example, the Ace of Acorns shown below (top row) depicts a man warming his hands, representing winter... and so on. The Kings are mounted on horseback and the over- and under-knaves are usually named and portray medieval Central European heroes. Cards are double-ended and packs contain 24, 32 or 36 cards: typically 7-8-9-10, Lower (Knave or Jack), Upper (Knight or Noble), King, Ace.
...this is the most popular card type in Hungary. Maybe it's more popular than French style poker cards. With the Hungarian deck you can play a lot of card games. Every village has its own game and rules with this card deck. I know about 50 games with it. And everybody can play with these cards minimum 1 game. So this is the why I say this is the most popular card type in Hungary. [Attila Bagossy]
Member since February 01, 1996View 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.
Römihártya pin-up deck from Hungary.
Persian Miniatures, made in Hungary c.1990.
Pin-up Rummy Playing Cards, made in Hungary, c.1970.
Hungarian Drinking Skat, c.2004.
Facsimile of ‘Wilhelm Tell’ Hungarian deck by Salamon Antal, Keczkemét, 1860.
Bathing Beauties throughout the ages, published in Hungary, 1967.
Hungarian pin-up deck illustrated by Imre Sebök, c.1960.
“Dvouhlavé Hrací Karty” (Czech Seasons playing cards) made by Obchodní Tiskárny, c.1980.
‘Ronia’ Genoese Pattern made in Hungary for the Dutch market, c.1970
Piatnik & Söhne “Industrie und Glück” Tarok c.1905-1910.
Artex A/30 brand for Turkey, 1980s.
Luxus No.123 Hungarian seasons pattern manufactured in Hungary by the Playing-Card Factory and Printing House, c.1970.
Non-standard playing cards produced by Artex (Budapest) for the Gdynia-America Line, Poland, c.1958.
Artex Quadrilato No.333 for Tunisia
No.111 by Artex is a copy of Waddingtons standard designs, c1962.
During the 19th century a system of fortune telling arose in Europe using unnumbered, pictorial cards depicting popular imagery with subtitles in several languages.
The court cards in this delightful Art Deco pack represent persons in various colourfully embroidered folkloric costumes. Designed by Hungarian artist Ilona Radnainé Szöredi.
Hungarian 'Seasons' playing cards made by G. Berger, Alsina 373, Buenos Aires c.1940
32 cards Hungarian "Seasons" pattern, with Argentinean tax stamp and trade mark of six-pointed star on 7 of bells, c.1955-60.
The Hungarian Seasons pattern. With the Hungarian deck you can play a lot of card games. Every village has its own game and rules with this card deck.
Tungsram Playing Cards, Art Deco playing cards from Hungary
Balázs Pál Nagy Tell 3306
Balázs Pál Nagy's Playing Cards
Hadsegélyzö Kártya ('War Aid Pack' or 'War Aid Cards') Nr. 63 designed by Leo Kober and first published by Piatnik, Budapest, in 1917.