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Karl Gerich No.12

Karl Gerich's 12th deck is titled “Rheinland Playing Cards” and was published in 1991. lt is derived from Dondorf's Rhineland pattern, which was first published in the 1870s.

phoenix motif

Karl Gerich No.12: “Rheinland Playing Cards”

Karl Gerich's 12th deck is titled “Rheinland Playing Cards” and was published in 1991. lt is derived from Dondorf's Rhineland pattern, which was first published in the 1870s and widely copied ever since. The courts are double-ended with the spades in black, hearts in red, diamonds in yellow and the clubs in green. The cards are beautifully etched with a fine command of the material. The four Aces are plain. Alternative packs are in existence either with a self-adhesive vinyl or with a “Florentine” pattern paper back. The box has a phoenix motif, one of several motifs used by Gerich, which was a mythical bird consumed by fire only to rise again from the ashes, representing the triumph of life over death.

“Rheinland Playing Cards” by Karl Gerich, 1991

Above: “Rheinland Playing Cards” by Karl Gerich, 1991. The complete pack has 32 cards plus one joker (cross-legged mandolin player). The card at top-right is the box-top, showing Karl Gerich's phoenix motif which appears in several of his works. Each card measures 55mm x 86mm. Images courtesy Mike and Daphne Tregear.

References:

♠ Tregear, Mike and Daphne, "Karl Gerich: Card Designer and Maker", privately published.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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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.


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