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Suit System:F
Recommended Name:  the Hamburg pattern.

Formerly labelled F-1.51 and XP7 (XP for eXpatriate Paris). A Leipzig list of 1825 also calls a different pattern by the same name. The name indicates a probable place of origin, not a region of use.


Early fine examples were made by the Suhr family (1814-18, 1818-28) in Hamburg, but owing nothing to P.O. Runge's 1809-10 unpublished re-working of the Paris pattern. Further examples were made in other parts of Germany and in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France and Belgium where Turnhout sample books of c.1887 still included them as 'Cartes Allemandes'.

Characteristic features

Examples vary greatly in style and design, unlike the rigid, easily recognisable, successor, the North German pattern [IPCS #59]. Early examples preserve all the essential features of the early Paris pattern, except one: JC holds an elaborate sword-hilt instead of the loop of ribbon from which his 'shield' was suspended. As compared with other patterns of the Paris progeny, the essential distinctive differences are shown by KS and KC (which also recur in the North German pattern): KS holds the top frame of a harp, which usually has a winged head, KC holds the round top of a shield, which often has a saw-tooth decoration. In early examples, there is an eagle's head (a vestige of the Paris pattern) beneath the hilt of the sword held by KH; this feature occurs in no other XP pattern. There is no Standard set of Queens, but usually all wear small crowns or head-dresses, and hold flowers. In early examples the Standard arrangement is that QH holds a rose, QS (in profile) a tulip, QD a carnation, and QC a sunflower. All Jacks hold halberds. JH JS and JD display other features of the prototype: JH has one hand on his cloak-edge (or on his breast); JS grasps a sword below the hilt; JD usually has his face in profile looking sideways over his shoulder. The horizontal line dividing the courts is sometimes interrupted by a space containing the maker's name.

Some makers produced more than one version of this pattern. In one of Lattmann's of Goslar, KD wears armour and is not in profile. Another Lattmann design, with less stereotyped courts, was also published by Erve Wijsmuller of Amsterdam. A very florid version by Wüst of Frankfurt was named 'Leipziger'. Tiedemann of Rostock, and Culemann of Hannover, made versions on elongated cards with the Diamond suit-signs edged in black. A version by Traugott Knaut of Weimar has a lion-mask on the shoulder of KD, and JC wearing a turban.


King Queen Jack and numerals. Earlier packs have 52 cards (for Whist); shortened packs are common. Scenic or decorated Aces are uncommon. Sometimes used for Grabuge (all Spades) packs.

Some other makers

Industrie Comptoir c.1825, and Schultze c.1849 (Leipzig); Müller c.1840 (Berlin); Mayrhofer c.1880 (Augsburg); Sommer & Seupke c.1850 (Dresden); Grassau & Sohn c.1840-50 (Braunschweig); Niebuhr c.1880 (Hamburg), possibly by Wüst; Herrl c.1840, Pichlera c.1852, Holdhaus c.1860, and Titze & Schinkay 1861 (Austria); Gassmann 1850-75, Hurter c.1860, Müller c.1860 (Switzerland); Niclas von Bergen 1832, Reuterdahl, Lincke, Stenfeld & Söderbäck (Sweden); Combette c.1840 (Paris); Mesmaekers, and Van Genechten c.1887 (Turnhout).

Sources of Information

Catalogues: Schweizer Spielkarten (Zürich, 1978); Cary collection (Yale, 1981); Bube Dame König (Berlin, 1984); Hamburgische Spielkarten (Hamburg, 1984); All Cards on the Table (Leinfelden, 1990); Spielkarten (Munich, 1991); Trumpf på Hand (Stockholm, 1993).

The Hamburg Pattern

Illustration of Hamburg pattern (jpg 933 x 1055)
Top three rows: Cornelius Suhr, Hamburg 1814-18;
rows 4&5: 'Leipziger' cards, C.L. Wüst, Frankfurt a/M c.1860;
row 6: 24-card Sjavs pack for Denmark, F.A.Lattmann, Goslar c.1920.
(Suhr & Lattmann cards collection John Berry; Wüst cards former collection Sylvia Mann).

The International Playing-Card Society 7/1996 JB

For comments please contact the Pattern Sheet Editor: Kay Stolzenburg (

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Last updated 13th September 2010