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Suit System:G
Recommended name:   Luditz pattern

Alternative name: Luditzer-Deutsche

History and some makers

The inscription “Luditzer” on the Daus of Acorns and “Luditzer Einfach Deutsche” (single headed cards with German suits signs, Luditz type) on a wrapper (Cary AUS163) gave the name to this pattern. The small city of Luditz (today Žlutice in the north-west of the Czech Republic) is located about 30 km south-east of Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary). Just a few packs are known, the earliest made c.1890 by the “Österreichische Spielkarten­fabriks-Gesellschaft” (Austrian playing card factory association) in Vienna. Most peculiar looks the ponderous style of the Ober and Unter figures, with their baggy trousers reminding of lansquenets. Klaus Reisinger – the late expert in card patterns of the Austrian empire, whose research is reflected here – could track the roots of this quite young pattern far back, to the second half of 16th century: within a relatively large group of Lansquenet patterns known from this time, a few exhibit kings on horseback, and remain­ing figures with very similar poses, weapons and symbols, produced most probably in or around Eger. Then a similar pack could be tracked, made c.1790 most probably by Joseph Susy in Deggendorf, in eastern Bavaria. Furthermore, two later similar packs exist, showing on the Daus of Bells the coat of arms of Eger (Cheb, located some 40 km west of Luditz, near the border to eastern Bavaria), made 1828 in Rabenstein (Rabštejn nad St?elou, not far from Luditz) by Gabriel Hoene, and 1852 in Eger by Johann Wilhelm. The size of the area where cards with the Luditz pattern have been used for playing is not known so far. The pattern probably was created in the second half of the 19th century by a hitherto unknown card maker around Luditz or Eger, who utilized a fund of old cards as taken over from several prede­cessors. The rather small producer “Öster­reichische Spielkartenfabriks-Gesellschaft” was sold to the Josef Glanz firm in Vienna in 1904, which offered the adopted Luditz pattern until c.1912. Furthermore, a very similar pack made by Saul Davide Modiano in Triest c.1905 exists (Piatnik coll.). The pattern disappeared with the beginning of World War I, at the latest.

Characteristic features

Daus cards: on Hearts two rustic women; on Bells a floral panel with the maker’s name; on Leaves a hand in a sword knob; on Acorns a lion holds a shield. The kings are sitting on horseback, the Obers and Unters are presented as lansquenets. The numeral cards in Hearts and Bells exhibit (beside a man holding a glass on the Nine of Bells) quite simple motifs (dog, deer, flower, crown), the remaining just some foliage as roots under the suit signs.


32 cards: Daus, King, Ober, Unter, X to VII.

Some references

REISINGER, Klaus „Eger/Luditzer-Deutsche“ and „Landsknechtsbilder aus dem Egerland“ in Talon N°11/2002, Österreichisch-Ungarischer Spielkartenverein Wien/Budapest; p.9-17;

REISINGER, Klaus in Herz, Schelle, Laub, Eichel, Wien 2004; vol.2 p.177-192 and vol.1 p.161-170.

MANN, Sylvia in Alle Karten auf den Tisch – All Cards on the Table, Leinfelden and Marburg 1990; vol.I p.100,101.

Luditz pattern, Luditzer-Deutsche

upper two rows: Österreichische Spielkarten-Fabriksgesellschaft Wien c.1890 (Deutsches Spielkarten-Museum)
bottom row: Related patterns, example Unter of Leaves (from left to right):
Lansquenet pattern from Eger-Land c.1600;
Joseph Susy in Deggendorf (?) c.1790;
Gabriel Hoene in Rabenstein 1828, Daus of Bells with Eger coat of arms

The International Playing-Card Society 01/2011 PB

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Last updated 19th September 2011