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Published December 14, 2012 Updated March 24, 2023

Jass Allemand

Egbert Moehsnang produced this contemporary Swiss-suited, double-ended pack, based on original XV century sources, but they were shunned by card players.

1982 Switzerland AGMüller Egbert Moehsnang Innovation Jass Add to Collection

Egbert Moehsnang: ‘Jass Allemand’

In 1978 the Swiss manufacturer AG Müller decided to redesign the Swiss pattern, in the hope that the traditional designs could be updated and reinstated as a strategy to overcome the foreign playing cards flooding into the market. They commissioned Egbert Moehsnang, who in consultation with a leading art historian took almost two years researching and designing the cards. Moehsnang produced this contemporary Swiss-suited, double-ended pack, based on original XV century sources, with highly legible indices and colour scheme, but they were simply shunned by card players and the idea wasn't successful.

See also:  Abstract Bridge

Egbert Moehsnang's ‘Jass Allemand’ Swiss-suited playing cards published by AG Müller, 1982

Above: cards from Egbert Moehsnang's ‘Jass Allemand’ Swiss-suited playing cards published by AG Müller, 1982. The original cards were produced from copper plate engravings, hand coloured with brush and stencils. The designs are flat, 2-dimensional figures rather than 3-dimensional as in older cards.

Update from Roddy Somerville

When the first edition was obviously not selling well, the card-playing fraternity was asked to come up with some possible improvements. There was therefore a second edition which included the following changes:

  1. The dark green colour has been replaced by a khaki colour.
  2. The yellow colour has been replaced by a mustard colour.
  3. "AGM" on the Daus of Acorns is not filled in but left white with a black outline.
  4. The panel behind the King of Acorns' head is now coloured both sides.
  5. The Ober of Flowers' hat is now completely red.
  6. The central design on the Daus of Shields has been redrawn.
  7. The Under of Shields no longer has a bald patch or tonsure.
  8. Behind the King of Bells is now red instead of yellow.
  9. The Ober of Bells' hat is now blue instead of red.
Egbert Moehsnang's ‘Jass Allemand’ Swiss-suited playing cards published by AG Müller, second edition

There are other small differences too numerous to mention. The back design remained the same. I have also seen both editions with advertisements on the back. There are subtle differences in colour on the boxes, reflecting the colour differences found on the cards inside. See the boxes

Unfortunately, the second edition was not particularly popular either. AGM were clearly keen that this pack should be accepted and played with as they included a questionnaire in German with the second edition asking players what they thought of the cards. One wonders what responses they received - RS.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder 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.


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