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Suit System:F
Recommended Name:  no recommended name.

Formerly labelled F-1.41 and XP6 (XP for eXpatriate Paris). The name 'International pattern' proposed by Sylvia Mann in All Cards on the Table (1990), to reflect its wide-spread production, clashes with a name often used for the English pattern [IPCS #48], and cannot be recommended.


This is one of the oldest XP patterns, showing very strong affinities with the Paris pattern. The design had already reached Stockholm by 1815. Early German references associate the pattern with Hamburg, and it is possible that it was just such a pattern for which the maker Gustav Forssman asked Runge to design a new JH. As illustrated overleaf, there is a variant of XP6 whose only deviation is that the JH is replaced by one strikingly similar to the figure which recurs in Runge's unpublished first set of courts, which carries Forssman's name on JC. Runge died on 2nd December, 1810.

Runge's teacher Gerdt Hardorff († 1864) left a signed undated etched sheet of half-courts of XP6 pattern, which cannot have been used as it stands, and does not seem to have been put into production. It shows little deviation from the typical pattern, except that KS is fingering the strings of his harp as in Runge's design. There is no hard evidence that this design was produced during Runge's lifetime, nor that it was the first example of the pattern.

Cards of the XP6 pattern appear in Industrie Comptoir's samples of c.1825 as Nos. 20 and 22 under the names of "1. Hamburger Karte" and "2. Hamburger Karte, in Holz". In Berlin examples werebeing made c.1820 by C.A. Müller and by C. Pfeiffer, and imported from Leipzig (possibly made by C.H. Zoelcke). The example from Stockholm with the date 1815 is by Carl Geerds (and has non-standard names on the Kings and Queens). The pattern was also produced by Jacob Holmblad in Copenhagen 1820-37. J.G. Backhofen of Nuremberg made a typical example c.1845. The pattern spread to Austria, being made by F. Eurich of Linz in 1837 and 1847. Kessman-Servaes of Brussels c.1835 also made a version (with an unusual JH. The pattern was also made in Switzerland, by J.I. Müller of Diessenhofen c.1860 (and some earlier half-length designs in pencil have also survived).

Characteristic features

Most examples of the pattern follow a strict model, though non-standard Queens and other variations do occur. As usual, the Kings are the most important: in particular, KC who has his free hand evidently on his hip (as in Gatteaux's 1813 French pattern, but minus his shield), and KS who carries his harp high up, holding the base in a fold of his robe as a rule. KD in profile wears a broad striped collar or cape; KH holds the usual orb and sword, and the robe- edges either side of the dividing line often form two loops round his hands (but not in Wüst's designs). The Queens hold traditional flowers, with QS in profile. A very distinctive feature is JC who wears an oval shield on his upper arm; this feature recurs on JS in the 'French-Swiss' pattern [IPCS #60]. JH has his free hand on his midriff, much as in the Paris pattern prototype; JS holds a sword beneath the hilt; JD has his head in profile, with hand on hip.


King, Queen, Jack and numerals; usually 52 cards. Plain aces.

Some other makers

F.G. B(aumgärtner) in Berlin, 1815-24; Moritz Stoeckel, Leipzig, c.1825; Sutor (Naumburg) c.1850; Sydow & Rydström, Kalmar, 1814-20; C.L. Wüst made a Standard version (which he also used for a doll's house pack), as well as a pack for Brazil with swapped suits and other variations. Further variants were made by I. Kroymann in Itzehoe, c.1860, and Joseph Tetscher in Munich, c.1810 (with modish Queens).

Sources of Information

Catalogues as for [IPCS #58], plus Playing Cards in Denmark by F. Jensen. Collections of the British Museum (Willshire and Schreiber), London; Deutsches Spielkarten Museum, Leinfelden; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.

Illustration of XP6 pattern (jpg 890 x 1031)
Top three rows: Moritz Stoeckel, Leipzig, c.1825 (Temperley collection)
Lower three rows: version with Runge-type Jack of Hearts (Ollis collection)

The International Playing-Card Society 6/1997 JB

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Last updated 13th September 2010