Vasa Dynasty Playing Cards
The House of Vasa was the royal house of Sweden 1523–1654 and subsequent rulers have emphasized their Vasa descent through a female line. The lineage became divided between adherents to Catholic and Lutheran faith, leading to wars and new alliances
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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.
Majas Alfabets Spel beautifully illustrated by Lena Andersson, 1980s.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
Souvenir of Norway deck.
Kalevala playing cards by Sunish Chabba and Ishan Trivedi inspired by ancient Finnish mythology.
Moviestars from the golden age of cinema by Offason AB of Sweden, c.2000s.
“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999.
“54 Views from Norway” souvenir playing cards published by Normanns Kunstforlag A/S, c.1990s.
Warburg’s Danske playing cards published by Aktieselskabet Emil Jensen, København, 1944.
“Warburg’s Skandinaviske Bridge Kort” published by Aktieselskabet Emil Jensen, København, c.1935.
VR-VISA playing cards published by VR Group, the state-owned railway company in Finland.
Facsimile edition of “Löjliga Spel Kort” (1825) illustrated playing cards from Sweden, showing scenes from Fredman‘s Epistles and Songs
Playing cards published by Jacob Bagges AB Stockholm, close copies of Dondorf designs.
Standard Danish playing cards made by Handa, Copenhagen.
‘Svenska Lloyd’ shipping company playing cards published by J.O. Öberg & Son, Eskilstuna, c.1955.
Swedish style pack by Åkerlund & Rausing, Stockholm, 1931-1937
Öbergs “Comedia” playing cards designed by Stig Lindberg from Sweden, c.1958
“Four Centuries” playing cards by Esselte Öbergs with court cards depicted as caricatures from different historical periods.
Olsen Spelkort Smygvänliga - Swedish pattern made by F.X. Schmid for Olsen
Offason AB “Beau” playing cards designed by Åke Arenhill from Sweden, c.1990.
‘Kille’, an old Swedish card game
The House of Vasa was the royal house of Sweden 1523–1654 and subsequent rulers have emphasized their Vasa descent through a female line
Russian “Historical” playing cards with designs by Nikolay Karazin, 1897
Non-standard playing cards produced by De la Rue & Co. (London), c.1930s
Russian “Historical extra fine No.204” Playing Cards depicting Ancient Dynasties, 1920s.
This pack has been inspired by the Requiem Mass, a Mass celebrated for the souls of one or more deceased persons. The dark style of illustrations features occult symbols and imagery such as horns, hearts, thorns and skulls and the typography reflects ancient latin scripts.
Salakuljettaja Smugglaren is the Scandinavian version of Pepys’ “Contraband” published by Förlag Bildkonst, 1958.
Single-figure provincial Paris pattern cards with traditional names on the courts manufactured in Copenhagen by P. Steinmann, c.1820.
cards from an early 'Gnav' game made by C.L.Keiblinger, Copenhagen c.1860
C.L.Keiblinger, Copenhagen 1852-85
An amazing difference can be seen between the early and the later Jacob Holmblad packs, covering a time span of only 17 years.
The Q♥ has a butterfly net in which she has caught four hearts. Many of Holmblad's designs were replaced or changed in different editions, but this design was not used again.
Holmblad ordered his earlier designs to be re-drawn and updated. Comparison of packs from this era show instances where one figure is replaced by another more imposing version.
“Luxus Bridgekort” was specially designed by Barbara MacDonald in a vibrant Art Deco style for Warburg of Denmark in c.1930, and printed by Universal Playing Card Co. Ltd (England).
Olle Hjortzberg (1872-1959) designed these playing cards for Granbergs AB in c.1924 in ‘Art Nouveau’ style.
Einar Nerman (1888–1983) was a talented Swedish artist born in Norrköping who designed playing cards during the 1920s.
“Grand Prix Champions” printed by Offason.
Holmblads No. 121 made by John Waddington, England, for Denmark
Playing cards from Finland. Finnish cards have a relatively short history, presumably because the country only finally broke loose from Russian influence in 1920.
Standard Swedish type playing cards manufactured by J.O. Öberg & Son, Eskilstuna, 1929.
Swedish cards have characteristics in common with their Scandinavian neighbours