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Suit System:F
Recommended name:   Vienna pattern, Type D
Alternative name:   Vienna pattern, Small Crown.


In the 16th and 17th century Lyon in France was a centre of playing card manufacturing not only for the French market but for export to the German countries also. In records of the 18th century one of the patterns made in Lyon for export is named “portrait d’Allemagne” (IPCS # 62). From c. 1700 this Lyon export pattern was copied more and more by German makers of playing cards. In the second half of the century the first decks with double headed figures appeared. At the end of the century three clearly distinguishable types are known. The earliest decks of one of these, the so called Type C, came from Sopron and Saxony. This type became up to the middle of the 19th century the dominant standard pattern in the Kingdom of Bohemia. It was the predecessor of the Vienna pattern, Type D. First made mostly by makers in Vienna it later came to Hungary and other parts of the Austrian Empire, too. Around 1875 the first steel engraved version made by Josef Neumayer came to the market, more detailed but nevertheless comparable with the earlier woodcuts. Finally in 1881 Neumayer engraved a somewhat different version which became the prototype for most of the later versions until today.

Characteristic features

Jack of Diamonds wears a hat while the other Jacks wear caps with flaps. Jack of Hearts holds a pennant attached to a lance, usually with the name of the town of manufacture, the other ones hold a halberd. Queens of Spades and Hearts wear crowns with a flat front. Queen of Clubs holds a mirror, Queen of Spades a basket filled with flowers and Queens of Hearts and Diamonds hold a flower in their right hand. The crowns of the Kings are fully visible in the frame of the picture. All Kings hold a sceptre. Usually the maker’s name is printed on a sash held by the King of Spades. The older version differs in the Jack and Queen of Clubs: The Jack holds an arrow instead of a halberd, the Queen a fan instead of the mirror (see pictures).


52 cards (+ x J), Ace, K, Q, J, 10 to 2 (Whist, Rummy, Bridge, Canasta), without indices in earlier versions, later with indices. Rarely 32 cards for Piquet, Ace, K, Q, J, 10 to 7.

Some makers

Johann Georg Steiger, C. Titze & Schinkay, Josef Glanz, Ferdinand Piatnik (& Söhne), UNION, Artur Schirmann, all Vienna; Piatnik Nandor es Fiai, Budapest; Heller & Sohn, Ceska Graficka „UNIE“, Miracle, OTK, all Prague; KZWP, Krakau.

Some references

Reisinger, Klaus: Von Lyon nach Wien, Die Entstehung des Wiener Bildes, Wien 2000; Mann, Sylvia: All Cards on the Table, Leinfelden-Echterdingen und Marburg 1990, p. 108; Janssen, Han: de geschiedenis van de Speelkaart, Rijswijk 1985, p.106ff; Wowk, Kathleen: Playing Cards of the World, Guildford 1983, p. 59; Beal, George: Playing Cards and their Story, London 1975, p. 61ff.

Vienna pattern, Type D

Top three rows: C. Titze & Schinkay, Wien, engraved c. 1875, earlier version;
fourth row: Ferd. Piatnik, Wien, engraved 1881, later version (compare J and Q of Clubs);
bottom two rows: Czech version with large crowns, Miracle, Prague, c. 1940.

The International Playing-Card Society 10/2015 KST

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Last updated 14 July 2016