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127 Articles

Barney Townshend

Member since October 06, 2015

Retired Airline Pilot, interested in: Transformation Playing Cards, Karl Gerich and Elaine Lewis. Secretary of the EPCS. Treasurer of the IPCS.

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Osram Advertising Playing Cards

The court cards feature double-ended light-bulb people (the Kings are repeated in each suit) and the numeral cards have vignettes at each end illustrating how Osram light bulbs lighten the darkness.

1943 Le Jeu de Marseille

Le Jeu de Marseille

Having deconstructed traditional, bourgeois playing card symbolism they produced new, liberated designs expressing their own beliefs and values. The court cards were persons expressing new, revolutionary ideals.


In this version an explanatory verse is printed at the top of each card.

Der Feinen Welt

Lattmann's 'Die Spielkarte Der Feinen Welt' published in 1923.

1925 Carnival Playing Cards, 1925

Carnival Playing Cards, 1925

The Carnival Playing Card deck designed by Harry D. Wallace (1892-1977) and first published in 1925.

Dilkhus playing cards for India

Van Genechten was one of the most competent cardmakers in Turnhout and they produced almost every kind of foreign pack for clients all around the world.

1950 Leonor Fini

Leonor Fini

The originality of Leonor Fini's work is evident in these playing card designs. The imagery of her paintings was loosely based on dreams and this led her to be associated with the Surrealists...

Whist No.178 ‘Stuart Zeit’

Although not historically accurate this example is subtitled “Stuart period”, with rich costumes creating associations with an imaginary period sometime before the French Revolution.

1967 Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí

Based on the standard French ‘Paris’ pattern, Dalí composed his playing card figures out of geometric shapes, like a surrealist tapestry, but retaining the traditional aspects of playing card design.

1973 Geneviève Lirola

Geneviève Lirola

Stylish modern designs by the painter, decorator and ceramist Geneviève Lirola, featuring unity of colours in each suit.

1954 Les Mousquetaires

Les Mousquetaires

Philibert "Les Mousquetaires" Playing Cards, designed by Albert Dubout (1905-1976).

L'Hombre No.60

Dondorf's “L'Hombre No.60” was manufactured for the Danish firm Adolph Wulff of Copenhagen between c.1910-1930.

1991 Karl Korab

Karl Korab

Karl Korab was born in 1937 in Falkenstein (Lower Austria), the son of a forester. As a child he experienced the horrors of World War II, which influence his artwork today.

Granbergs No.101 Standardkort

Olle Hjortzberg (1872-1959) designed these playing cards for Granbergs AB in c.1924 in ‘Art Nouveau’ style.

1910 Wüst Oval Patience

Wüst Oval Patience

C. L. Wüst Oval Patience Karten No. 240, beautifully printed by chromolithography, c.1910.

1947 Renée Sturbelle

Renée Sturbelle

Artistic playing cards with abstract designs by Renée Sturbelle, first published by Brepols S.A., Turnhout, 1947.

1925 Philips Arlita

Philips Arlita

Philips 'Arlita' advertising playing cards manufactured by Etabl. Mesmaekers Frères S.A., Turnhout, Belgium, 1925.

1924 Einar Nerman Patience

Einar Nerman Patience

Einar Nerman (1888–1983) was a talented Swedish artist born in Norrköping who designed playing cards during the 1920s.

1956 Cancan


Lightly risqué luxury playing cards published by Éditions Philibert of Paris in 1956.

Einköpfige Deutsche Spielkarte No.303

Dondorf's ‘Einköpfige Deutsche Spielkarte No.303’ (‘Single-ended German Playing Cards’) were produced during the period 1900-1930.

Mittelalter No.150

These designs imitating late medieval costumes were published by B. Dondorf in Germany in various editions between 1889-1933 as Mittelalter No.150, 151 and 135.


These unusual and striking playing cards were published sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s by the iconic Australian brand of matches, Bryant & May. Whilst the same court card images are used in each suit, the numeral cards employ matches arranged geometrically instead of the normal pips.

1909 Arnold Schönberg

Arnold Schönberg

In around 1909 he created three sets of playing cards. His inventiveness was driven by a passion for rules, order and numbers.

Jeu de Cartes No.1

Henri Meunier was a Belgian Art Nouveau lithographer, etcher, illustrator, bookbinder and poster designer of the Belle Époque. His first introduction to art was in his father's workshop; then he completed his art studies at the Academy d'Ixelles.

1916 Waisenfond


Intended to attract donations on behalf of the Imperial Royal Austrian Military Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund, this elegant and refined deck was designed by Nellie Stern. The deck was printed by Ferdinand Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna in 1916.

1994 Lettische Patience

Lettische Patience

Karl enjoyed experimenting with design and production and this work was published in 1994 as a 32-card pack with one joker. The double-ended courts are, by Gerich's standards, plain with simple costume designs based on the designs of Arturs Duburs.

1982 Deutche Karten

Deutche Karten

Karl Gerich's ‘Deutche Karten’ playing cards No.9, printed from copperplate etchings.

1982 Karl Gerich No.1

Karl Gerich No.1

The first entry in the catalogue, dating from c.1982, shows full-length figures with their symbols of office (mace, orb, halberd, sword, flower, etc.) after the early English style.

No.14 Rouennais

As far as is known, ‘Rouennais’ has only ever been produced as a sheet of etched court cards and aces. The designs are based on the early playing cards produced in Rouen (France) which became the antecedents of the standard English pattern.

Cartes Comiques, 1870-1888

“Cartes Comiques”, published by B. Dondorf, printed by chromolithography, c.1870-1888.

B. Dondorf GmbH: Neue Klubkarte No.422

The designs are a meld between the standard international pattern and German-style French-suited cards. Elements from various other standard patterns can be detected.

Deutsches Luxusbild

The court cards in this well designed double-ended pack are realistically dressed in 16th century costumes with German suit symbols. The Kings and high ranking personnel are strict and austere.


The Valets in this deck appear in costumes of the Biedermeier period, portraying sentimental and pious poses in keeping with the iconography of traditional German playing card patterns.

Club Karte

There have been many variations in the design of “Club Karte” including the introduction of borders, corner indices and rounded corners, and variations in the inscriptions on the Aces over the years.

1960 Mémoires de Casanova

Mémoires de Casanova

Mémoires de Casanova artistic and lightly risqué playing cards with paintings by Paul-Émile Bécat, published by Éditions Philibert, Paris, c.1960.

1992 Ganesh


Karl's ‘Ganesh’ pack has the four Aces with the suit sign in a circle decorated with flowers and double-ended courts in Indian dress.

1990 Trappola Française v.1

Trappola Française v.1

Inspired by Piatnik's ‘Trappola’ of c.1890, with double-ended courts, a Jester and decorated Aces, the cards are delicately etched and hand coloured so that versions exist with alternative colour schemes.

1991 Cartes Turques Patience

Cartes Turques Patience

Derived from “Cartes Turques” first made by Glanz, then later by van Genechten, Brepols & Piatnik. 3 double-ended dragon Aces and one Adam/Eve Ace with a coiled serpent.

1991 Patience Indien

Patience Indien

Karl Gerich's “Patience Indien No.16”, published in 1991, is adapted from Grimaud's “Whist Indienne” (c.1900). The double-ended courts are dressed in Arab garb.