Karl Gerich No.1

Karl Gerich No.1: ‘Early English Pattern’
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From the start Karl Gerich adopted the traditional craftsman's approach to the production of his playing-cards. This was to create a copper or steel plate etching, hand print from each plate and then to hand-colour the printed sheet. The first entry in the catalogue, dating from c.1982, shows full-length court figures with their symbols of office (mace, orb, halberd, sword, flower, etc.) after the early English style. The hand colouring is in reds, blues, pink, black and yellow which is an accurate representation of traditional single-ended playing cards produced in England since the seventeenth century and used until the middle of the nineteenth century.

Karl Gerich No.1: Early English pattern, 1982

Above: coloured proof sheet of Karl Gerich's ‘Early English Pattern’ playing cards No.1, signed and dated by the artist. It is difficult to know exactly how many of each pack Karl produced, together with proof sheets and variants, but around five 52-card packs were made with stencilled and unvarnished pips, plus a number of uncut sheets. Cards measure 79mm x 45mm.


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


Copyright for all images remains the property of the Artist.

Last Updated December 24, 2021 at 08:02pm


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