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Suit System:F
Recommended name:   Wüst Family pattern, Type A
Alternative name:   Wüst House pattern


„When in 1866 the Prussians took over the Free City of Frankfurt am Main of the many ordinances imposed on the unfortunate citizens was one that called ever able bodied young men into military service. Caspar Ludwig Wüst, owner of the Spielkartenfabrik C.L.Wüst, reacted to this by sending his eldest sons off to America. Early in 1869 Georg Friedrich Wüst (24), Hermann David Wüst (22) and Carl Georg Wüst (17) arrived in New York.” [Martin A.I. Shaw, The Playing Card Vol.XXII 1993, p. 49]. Hermann David left New York after a while and went to family friends in the town of Hoboken located in New Jersey. Here he met Amalie Dorothea Mathilde Schröder. In 1873 both got married and shortly after Hermann David went back with his wife to Frankfurt. In the meantime his parents had laid the foundation stones for a new home and factory and in the same year the new factory opened on Friedrichstraße in an area west of Frankfurt city newly designated for industry and workers’ accommodation. Probably because of these developments a new deck of cards was designed showing Caspar Ludwig Wüst as the kings, his wife Sophie Elizabeth as the queens and their son Hermann David as the jacks. In a first prototype issue the three persons were displayed in different poses in each suit, while in a second version from around 1875 the jacks with Hermann David were all the same except for the color. They also show a strong resemblance to General George Armstrong Custer, presumably because he was very popular with Hermann David during his stay in America. This version obviously became a major success and was therefore copied by other makers even abroad. At about the turn of the century this pattern was redesigned with, in particular, a change in the mirroring of the figures and the headgear of the jacks.

Characteristic features

All courts are divided by a curved diagonal line sloping downwards from left to right. The Wüst version has the name “Wüst” in small letters on each side of the dividing line. All Kings hold a scepter which ends in a half-moon on king of spades and king of diamonds. The king of hearts and the king of clubs are both holding an orb with a cross. The queens all hold a flower except for the queen of hearts who holds a fan (this may be interchanged by other maker) and they all have veils (except the queen of clubs in the older original versions). All the jacks are similar, almost identical except for the colouring. They wear a wide-rimmed hat. In the redesigned version the division line runs from upper right to lower left and the hat of the jacks is worn differently. Printed in colour-lithography as well as letterpress. A stencil coloured Rabouge version is also known.


French suits, king, queen, jack and numerals. Aces (partial with scenes). Packs with 52 (with a joker 53 respectivly), 36 or 32 cards are known. There are also packs for the game of Rabouge with spades as suit-sign in all suits.

Other makers

Christian Heinrich Reuter, Nürnberg, c.1890; Chas. Goodall & Son, London, c.1900-1910; Goodall & Son Limited, London, c.1920.

Some references

Hasenpflug, Rudolf: Das “Hausbild Wüst”, Das Blatt Nr. 40, Berlin 2009, p. 55ff; Shaw, Martin and Symons, Paul: Playing cards from the factory C.L. Wüst, Turnhout 2005; Shaw, Martin: The Playing-Card Factory of C.L. Wüst, The Playing Card Vol.XXV 1996, p.50f; Mann Silvia: All Cards on the Table, Leinfelden-Echterdingen und Marburg 1990, p.66; Janssen, Han: de geschiedenis van de Speelkaart, Rijswijk 1985 p.104.

Wüst Family pattern, Type A

Top three rows: Wüst Family pattern, Type A, Version 1, C.L. Wüst, Frankfurt, c.1900
Bottom two rows: Wüst Family pattern, Type A, Version 2, spades only for Rabouge, C.L.Wüst, c.1900

The International Playing-Card Society 03/2013 PS

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