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Suit System:G
Recommended Name:  the Older Tyrol pattern.


For a hundred years, from c.1790 to c.1900, the Tyrol pattern was used throughout the Habsburg crownland Tyrol; this means in the main German-language area from Innsbruck to south of Bolzen/Bolzano, as well as in the then so-called South Tyrol, the Italian-language Trentino embracing Trento/Trient and Rovereto south to Lake Garda, where the Trentine pattern was probably the stronger competitor for everyday games.

Not surprisingly, the tradition of playing-cards in the Tyrol has always been deeply influenced by Bavarian patterns and makers. As a direct offspring of the Old Bavarian pattern [IPCS #53] - and in this sense as a somewhat older brother of the Munich Type Bavarian pattern - the Tyrol pattern shows amongst the Old Bavarian martial figures two peaceful replacements: the ober of Acorns holding a sickle aloft, and the unter of Acorns waving a flower in his hand.

Most packs show the double-headed eagle of the Habsburg empire within the shield at the king's of Acorns throne, and later packs from c.1840 onwards exhibit several newly invented scenes on the numeral cards - the most characteristic ones being: on the X of Hearts a reposing lion; on the 9 of Bells a farmhand with a cow; on the 8 of Hearts a dancing couple; on the 7 of Leaves a wine-pouring lass, and on the 7 of Acorns a man with a handcart.

Whereas the Older Tyrol pattern keeps the Old Bavarian scenes on the Daus cards, - i.e. the Amor on Hearts; deer, unicorn and eagle on Leaves; wild boar and attacking hound on Bells; the Bacchus on Acorns - the Later Tyrol pattern [IPCS #46], as an offspring from c.1850 onwards, shows rural scenes instead. The earliest examples known to the writer, together with the known makers' history, suggest that the Older Tyrol pattern was invented by Johann Albrecht of Innsbruck in c.1790, as he came there from Munich and worked for 10 years in the Göbl factory. Maybe Albrecht took over the sickle-lifting rustic with a jug at his feet, and the friendly fellow waving a flower, from a tradition of his home country Upper Austria - or perhaps it went vice versa. The latest known examples are stamped 1882-1899, but from c.1850 onwards the Older Tyrol pattern became more and more frequently replaced by the Later one.


32 cards: 4 suits of 8 cards comprising Daus, King, Ober, Unter, X-7. 36 cards (less frequent): additionally the 6 in each suit, the 6 of Bells in most cases from c.1850 with the inscription WELLI (see the Later Tyrol pattern [IPCS #46]).

Some makers

(All employ single-figure images).

Innsbruck: Johann Albrecht, c.1790, c.1810; (Michael) Albrecht, 1824, 1842; Josef Schöpf, c.1850, c.1855.

Landeck: Johann Sailer, 1818.

Bozen: Franz Drasl, 1832; Franz Krapf c.1840, c.1855; Karl Albrecht, 1858-1885.

Trento: Giuseppe Bendelli, 1838; G.Bertoldi, 1885.

Sources of reference

ALL CARDS ON THE TABLE by Sylvia Mann; Leinfelden-Echterdingen and Marburg, 1990.

THE TYROL PATTERN by Peter Blaas (IN) The Playing-Card (Journal of the I.P.C.S.) XXI/1, 1992.

KARTENSPIEL IN ALT-TIROL / CARD GAMES AND CARDMAKERS IN THE OLD TYROL (bilingual) by Peter Blaas (IN) TIROL - immer einen Urlaub wert, Winter 1992/1993, Innsbruck.

TIROLER SPIELKARTEN IM 19. JAHRHUNDERT by Peter Blaas, (IN) Spielkartenangebot XIV, 10.89, MGM Münzgalerie München.

SPIELKARTEN DES BAYERISCHEN NATIONALMUSEUMS by Sigmar Radau & Georg Himmelheber; München, 1991.

DAS BAYERISCHE BILD by Manfred Hausler; Berlin, 1993.

The Older Tyrol Pattern

Illustration of Older Tyrol pattern (jpg 613 x 539)
From a 32-card pack by (Michael) Albrecht, Innsbruck 1842. (Blaas coll.)

The International Playing-Card Society 7/1994 PB

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