oland has been involved in playing card production since the 15th century. During the 16th century cards were being made in L'vov (Lemberg), Breslau, Posen, Olkusz and Cracow. In 1507 the German philosopher Thomas Murner published 'Logica Memorativa' in Cracow, in the form of a book illustrated by a series of pictorial playing cards with 16 suits.
Polish cards followed Austro-Hungarian and German models such as Trappola packs, tarots, and more recently imitated the 'Rhineland', 'Baronese', 'Berlin', 'Viennese', 'Lemberg' and 'Prussian' patterns, as well as the Anglo-American. 19th and 20th century Polish manufacturers include J.A. Willink (Warsaw), Pierwsza Gal. Fabr. Kart do Gry and Karpalit S.A. of L'vov, the Cracow Playing Card Factory (1926-1939) and the state-run Krakowskie Zaklady Wyrobów Papierowych (Cracow Factory for Paper Articles, 1947-1997) who became the market leaders in Poland.
From the start, KZWP had strong associations with the Cracow Art College leading to collaboration with designers such as Franciszek Bunsch, Anna Gaber, Maria Orowska-Gabry and more recently Radoslaw Radziejewski and Edyta Gdek. Over the decades KZWP has produced many attractive advertising and decorative non-standard cards. (Click on images to see more). In 1997 KZWP was privatised and re-named Krakowskie Zaklady Wyrobów Papierowych Trefl - Kraków Sp. z.o.o. The company continues to produce the full traditional range of playing cards, games, tarot cards, advertising playing cards and other paper products.
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.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme covers from 1956 to 2016 published by Winning Moves UK Ltd.
Set of caricatures and cartoons in aid of a Polish children’s charity. c.2000.
Fortune-telling pack with divinatory rhymes in Polish, c.1985.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Polska with artwork by Katarzyna Tomala & Krzysztof Korzeniak, 2011.
Souvenir of Norway deck.
Advertising Deck for the Piwiarnia Pub in Warsaw.
Notgeld - Emergency Money - was in rare cases issued on playing cards.
Roman Empire playing cards designed by G. Wyatt for Green Board Game Co Ltd., 2011.
‘Królewskie’ playing cards with Slavic style courts, printed by KZWP-Trefl, 2002.
“Starościanka” playing cards manufactured by KZWP-Trefl (Poland), first issued in1998
Rhineland pattern by KZWP.
‘Veto’ is a Polish CCG game. Players compete for power and influence. The game is set in 17th century.
Disney collectable cards showing scenes from Disney animated movies, printed in Poland by KZWP-Trefl, 2003.
Uncut sheet of ‘Quickie’ Wheelchairs Quartet card game, made in Poland 2004
“Klipp Klapp Karten” printed by KZWP-Trefl (Poland) for Kindermuseum Oelde (Germany) in 2004
Bavarian single-ended pattern by Vereinigte Altenburg-Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken A-G., c.1937
Non-standard playing cards produced by Artex (Budapest) for the Gdynia-America Line, Poland, c.1958.
Pomorski Poker (Pomeranian Poker) is a gallery of characters from the region: politicians, media, culture, athletes, entrepreneurial women, etc.
Medieval style playing cards commemorating the Battle of Grunwald (1410), designed and published by Studio Wena, 2011
“Kasztelańskie No. 460” playing cards manufactured by Krakowskie Zaklady Wyrobów Papierowych, Crakow, c.1980s.
Cardiology Trials - limited edition playing cards by Krakowskie Zaklady Wyrobów Papierowych Trefl (KZWP), 2003
Russian style “Slavic Costumes” playing cards first published in 1911
Custom playing cards based on the TV series Parks and Recreation.
This pack was probably the culmination of a mixture of designs from 19th century Germany which emerged as one of Dondorf's more popular house patterns by around 1900.
Automotive playing cards designed by Radoslaw Radziejewski
78-card Polish tarot pack designed by Edyta Gdek.
“Relief of Vienna” tri-centenary pack, 1983
Prof. Franciszek Bunsch, Polish playing-card designer.
Anna Gaber playing cards from Poland.
Jagiellonskie Playing Cards with Polish Kings and Queens, made in Poland
Skat pack designed by Franciszek Bunsch
Polish playing cards