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


Three clearly distinguishable and timely successive appearing types of the Swabian pattern are known: Type Ulm (IPCS # 104), Type Darmstadt (IPCS # 105) and Type Stralsund (IPCS # 106). The makers of playing cards Ludwig Heidborn, Theodor Wegener und Ludwig v.d. Osten, all of them located in Stralsund, founded the “Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken A.G.” in 1872. The up to now oldest known copy with the specific Swabian pattern of that company has a tax stamp of the German Empire with small eagle and No. 4, validity starting in 1879, on the Ace of Hearts, but without the round space for it. In the kingdom of Prussia such a round space for the tax stamp was a must be at that time. Therefore the Stralsund company must have taken over this pattern from somewhere else in the south of Germany between 1872 und 1879. Further issues of the pattern were in line with the regulations. The Swabian pattern, Type Stralsund was produced until the late 20s of the 20th century.

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. The Type Stralsund is known double headed only. In line with the Type Ulm and in contrast to the Type Darmstadt all Kings hold a sceptre and the King of Hearts an orb in addition. Compared to the Type Ulm and Type Darmstadt the Obers wear capes over their jerkins like the Kings and no armor is detectable any more. All of the Unters wear a hat with feathers on it and they all are holding a halberd. It is noteworthy that this type of the double headed Swabian pattern has different coloring on both halves of the figure cards as it is known from the Frommann & Bünte version of the Type Darmstadt (see pictures).


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


Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken A.G., Stralsund.

Some references

Mann, Sylvia: All Cards on the Table, Leinfelden-Echterdingen and Marburg 1990, p. 62ff; Hausler, Manfred: Das Schwäbische Bild, in DAS BLATT 44, Berlin 2011, p. 89ff; Kaschel, Wilfried: Stralsunder Spielkarten 1765-1931, Neubrandenburg 2015, p. 365ff.

Swabian pattern, Type Stralsund

Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken A.-G., Stralsund
(Note the different coloring on both halves in the top two rows).

The International Playing-Card Society 10/2015 MH

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Last updated 14 July 2016