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Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek

Shipping line playing cards produced by Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek, c.1910 offering a virtual tour of destinations to the Far East

“S. M. N.” Shipping Line

Dutch “Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland” (Netherlands Steamship Company 1870-1970) shipping line playing cards produced by Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek, c.1910.

The four scenic Aces (shown right) offer a virtual tour of the destinations en route to the Far East starting from Amsterdam and then visiting Southampton, Lisbon, Tangier, Genoa, Colombo, Singapore and Java.

The court cards are in fantasy 16th century style costumes.

Netherlands Steamship Company on Wikipedia

Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland shipping line playing cards produced by Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek, c.1910

Above: “Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland” shipping line playing cards produced by Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek, c.1910. The back design has the S.M.N. monogram. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.


By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.

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Promotional pack for a Dutch Celtic folk band which performs Irish, Scottish and Dutch folk music, c.2004.

1880 Dutch costume playing cards from an unknown maker

Dutch costume playing cards from an unknown maker

Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.

1860 Dutch costume playing cards

Dutch costume playing cards

Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.

1983 Netherlands Kostuum Kwartet

Netherlands Kostuum Kwartet

Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.

1970 Nederlands Stedenkwartet

Nederlands Stedenkwartet

Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.

1906 Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, 1938.

Havermout Kwartetspel

Havermout Kwartetspel

“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.

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Asperge Kwartet

Asperge Kwartet published by Knorr.

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‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.

1975 Stationskwartetspel


Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.

1980 Natuurkwartet


Nature Quartet game published by Staatsbosbeheer, printed by Roem Speelkaarten, Kampen.

1970 Sprookjes Kwartet

Sprookjes Kwartet

Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.



Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.

1945 Neerlands Glorie

Neerlands Glorie

Neerlands Glorie Kwartetspel published by Hausemann & Hötte N.V, Amsterdam, 1945.

Verkeers Kwartet

Verkeers Kwartet

Verkeers Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek BV, Amsterdam, 1965.



Boekenkwartet featuring illustrations from children's books, 1970s.

1960 Jip en Janneke

Jip en Janneke

Jip en Janneke quartet game published by Hema, a Dutch department store, c.1960.

1975 Papita Sport Kwartet

Papita Sport Kwartet

Papita Sport Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek, c.1975.

Monty Gum ‘Stars Play’

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‘Stars Play’ card set published by Monty Gum, Leiden, 1988.

1969 Belle Vue Gueuze

Belle Vue Gueuze

Promotional playing cards designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, 1960s.

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

Navarra Pattern by Jonas Fouquet, c.1720 and c.1820.

Story Magazine

Story Magazine

Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.

Saint-Martin Island Souvenir

Saint-Martin Island Souvenir

St-Martin Island Souvenir published by Editions Exbrayat.

2016 Donald Duck Groente & Fruit Pretkwartet

Donald Duck Groente & Fruit Pretkwartet

Donald Duck Vegetables & Fruit Quartet exclusive from Jumbo supermarkets, © Disney 2016.

Carel de Wagenaer

Carel de Wagenaer

Facsimile edition of cards first published by Carel de Wagenaer, Amsterdam in c.1698

Four Days of Walking Event

Four Days of Walking Event

Dutch playing cards promoting the annual International Four Days of Walking Event held in Holland, 2016

M/S Kronprins Harald

M/S Kronprins Harald

Souvenir of Jahre Line Ferry M/S Kronprins Harald

Hidden meanings in painting by Jheronimus Bosch

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1877 Cartes de Luxe (1877) facsimile

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‘Cartes de Luxe’ first published by Biermans in 1877 was reproduced in facsimile by Amstel Beer in c.1980.

Genever Giraf

Genever Giraf

Dutch pattern advertising deck for Genever Giraf made by Van Genechten in the 1950s.

Piket Fijne Speelkaarten, c.1925-30

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‘Piket Fijne Speelkaarten’ by La Turnhoutoise, c.1925-30.

BG Bouw Building Company

BG Bouw Building Company

BG Bouw Dutch Building Company publicity deck manufactured by Carta Mundi, c.1980.

1964 Max Velthuijs for KLM

Max Velthuijs for KLM

Playing cards designed by Max Velthuijs for KLM airlines first published c.1964

1995 Beesten Kwartet

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Beesten Kwartet designed by Peter Vos. Published by Thomas Rap of Amsterdam, 1995.

2004 Servicio de Hidrografía Naval

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125th anniversary of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service, 2004.

1940 Convoy


“Convoy” WW2 card game published by Tree Brand c.1940, based on wartime naval convoys.

1885 Ship Sails

Ship Sails

“Ship Sails” card game c.1885.

British American Tobacco patience

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Patience deck for British American Tobacco printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland c.1940

1905 Sefite card game

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“Sefite” card game, Woolley & Co,. Ltd, London, c.1905