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Suit System:G
Recommended name:   Swabian pattern, Type Ulm
Alternative names:   Darmstädter Bild, Süddeutsches (South German) Bild.


This pattern belongs definitely to the numerous regional patterns which originated after the liquidation of the “Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation” (Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation) in 1806 and competed in the new established minor or medium sized states for acceptance. Three clearly distinguishable and timely successive appearing types are known: Type Ulm (IPCS # 104), Type Darmstadt (IPCS # 105) and Type Stralsund (IPCS # 106). There is evidence to suggest the origin at Ulm. Because only a few decks with manufacturer information have come up until now, especially with the double headed version, a relevant region of dissemination cannot be defined accurately. The Type Ulm seems to be common at Ulm and her surroundings and the area south of Ulm on both sides of the river Iller only. At the beginning the pattern has been produced single headed. From the middle of the 19th century on a double headed version has been produced also. Starting around 1870 this type got competition by a new design of the pattern, the Type Darmstadt. In the last quarter of the 19th century the Type Ulm disappeared almost totally.

Characteristic features

The most characteristic feature of all three types of the Swabian pattern are the four Daus cards. They show shields with different icons: citizenship and free time symbolized by playing cards, pipe, beer glass und musical instrument on Acorns, artistry symbolized by painting and literature on Leaves, art of war symbolized by weapons and trumpet on Hearts as well as farming and trade symbolized by spade, hoe, scale and money bag on Bells. All figures wear an armour. The Kings are sitting and holding a sceptre, the King of Acorns holds an orb in addition. Unters and Obers are standing, armed with not less than a sword, especially the Unter of Hearts holds a shield. At least the Unter of Leaves is bareheaded. The numeral cards of the single headed versions are not specific for the pattern. They represent a different mixture of landscape, genre scenes and single figures e.g. birds dependant on different makers.


24 cards, Daus, King, Ober, Unter, X and VII, for Gaigel and Binokel. 36 cards, Daus, King, Ober, Unter, X to VI.

Some makers

Bacher, Irenäus, Ulm (probably); Ling, Johann Evangelist, Ulm; Scheiffele, Christoph, Ulm; Arnold, Joseph, Neuburg a.d. D.; Jegel, Johann Conrad, Nürnberg; Bendel, Baptiste, Ravensburg; Weber, Anton, München.

Some references

Mann, Sylvia: All Cards on the Table, Leinfelden-Echterdingen and Marburg 1990, p. 62ff; Radau, Sigmar: Joker Journal XXVII, München 2001, p. Xff; Radau, Sigmar and Gerd Matthes: Deutsche Spielkarten 1650-1900, Nürnberg 2001, p. 169ff; Büchler, Frieder and Klaus-Jürgen Schultz: Mit offenen Karten, Au and Hamburg 2004, p. 15; Schultz, Klaus-Jürgen and Frieder Büchler: Alte Spielkarten, Hamburg and Au 2005, p. 26ff; Hausler, Manfred: Das Schwäbische Bild, in DAS BLATT 44, Berlin 2011, p. 89ff.

Swabian pattern, Type Ulm, single headed version.

Maker unknown. Figure cards and Dauses.

Swabian pattern, Type Ulm, single headed version.

Maker unknown. Numeral cards X to VII.

Swabian pattern, Type Ulm, single headed version.

Maker unknown. Numeral cards VI.

Swabian pattern, Type Ulm, double headed version.

Maker unknown. Notice: King of Acorns and King of Hearts have changed their place.

The International Playing-Card Society 10/2015 MH

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Last updated 13 July 2016