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Published February 04, 2024 Updated April 15, 2024

Portrait de Fribourg

Fine reproduction of a Fribourg pattern pack, originally by Jean-Jacques Burdel.

2002 Switzerland Swisscard Jean-Jacques Burdel Facsimiles & Replicas Fribourg pattern Add to Collection

Fribourg (or Freiburg in German) sits on the cultural border between the German- and the French-speaking parts of Switzerland. French-suited cards are more commonly used there than Swiss-suited ones. Indeed, thanks to some local card makers, notably the Burdel family, Fribourg had its own standard pattern. This pattern owes much to cards originating from Lyon in France, with the attractive addition of decorated aces.

The cards shown here have been faithfully reproduced from an original pack of c1835 by Jean-Jacques Burdel, the last of the Burdel dynasty, in the collection of Walter Haas. The originals would have been printed from woodblocks and stencil coloured. The maker’s name appears on the Jack of Spades and the Jack of Clubs, with a tax stamp for the canton of Bern on the Ace of Hearts. The cards have square corners and a modern finish.

This reproduction was printed by Swisscard of Toffen for the Musée Gutenberg in Fribourg (now in the process of relocating to Derendingen). The edition was limited to 550 packs, with the number and date stamped discreetly on the wrapper (itself a reproduction of a wrapper in the collection of the Historical Museum in Bern).

Portrait de Fribourg made by Swisscard, Toffen, for the Musée Gutenberg, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2002 Portrait de Fribourg made by Swisscard, Toffen, for the Musée Gutenberg, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2002 Portrait de Fribourg made by Swisscard, Toffen, for the Musée Gutenberg, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2002
Portrait de Fribourg made by Swisscard, Toffen, for the Musée Gutenberg, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2002

Above: Portrait de Fribourg made by Swisscard, Toffen, for the Musée Gutenberg, Fribourg, Switzerland, 2002. 52 cards + 2 extra cards with text in French and German, in printed brown paper wrapper. Size: 57 x 86 mm.

Further Reference

British Museum: number 1896,0501.582.1-52

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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