Round Playing cards

Master PW Circular Playing Cards, c.1500

Detail from Queen of Hares, Master PW Circular Playing Cards, c.1500

A pack of playing cards with five suits: roses, columbines, carnations, parrots and hares... everyday objects suggesting the natural world of life and fertility.

This pack of seventy-two round playing cards shows the artist in top creative form. The imagery depicts plants and animals based on the study of nature, rather than copied from artists' model books as previous engravers of cards had done (e.g. Master of the Playing Cards). Flowers are shown in various stages of bloom. The name of the engraver is unknown but he is known today as the Master P.W. due to his monogram.

The inscription “Salve Felix Colonia” (Hail, happy Cologne) accompanied by three crowns of the Cologne coat of arms on the title card confirms that the cards were made in Cologne. There are fourteen cards per suit: King, Queen, Upper and Lower Valet (or Squire and Man-at-Arms) and ten numerals, with Latin inscriptions on the Ace in each suit. The Kings and Queens are lavishly dressed figures on horseback (or a donkey). The detail includes embroidered brocade material and elaborate jewel adornments on the headgear and edges of the gowns. Even the horses have decorative livery and are depicted in anatomical detail. There are no references to religion but only to social class, costumes and nature.

Above: Master PW Circular Playing Cards (1499-1515 approx. dates of activity). The five suits, rather than the customary four, are: Hares, Parrots, Carnations (or Pinks), Columbines (or Aquilegias) and Roses. The total number of cards is 72; diameter = 70 mms (outer borderline). All seventy-two of Master PW's designs have survived in from one to six impressions, but no single repository owns a complete deck. Copies are preserved at: Bologna (sixty-nine cards) and Dresden (fifty-two); the British Museum, London; Vienna; Cologne, Rothchild Collection, Paris; Amsterdam and Boston. The British Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars across the world.

These playing cards were copied by Teleman de Wesel, the Lower Rhenish engraver (in reverse) although the suit of roses as well as all of the tens from Master PW's series were eliminated and substituted by four new under-knaves. The cards were also copied by the Cologne engraver, Johann Bussemacher (Cologne 1591) and Jacob Binck.

Oriental Trading Co. Movie Reel Shaped Playing Cards with Case
Sports (Oriental Trading Co.)
  • Movie Reel Shaped (Round) Playing Cards with Translucent Plastic Case
  • 54 Cards - 4 Suit Deck Plus 2 Jokers
  • Dimensions: 2-3/8 Diameter by 7/8 Thick Case
  • Dimensions: 2-1/4 Diameter Cards by ~ 1.5 Hundredth Inch Thick
  • Plastic Coated Glossy Finish on Cards
You might also like
Playing around with Synchron Extreme Cards 4
Playing around with Synchron Extreme Cards 4
Playing Around With Cards
Playing Around With Cards
Flat River Group Five Crowns Mini Round Card Game
Toy (Flat River Group)
  • Mini Rounds are shorter, faster versions of America s Favorite Card Games
  • A Mini Round is a mini game with round cards that comes in a fun click-clack tin
  • Simple, quick & captivating! A 2-4 person game that offers unlimited replay value
  • Perfect for on-the-go entertainment. Fits easily in a purse or pocket
  • It s a perfect present: birthdays, Easter baskets, thank you, gift baskets, teacher appreciation, stocking stuffers
Rally around - Playing for Life Activity Cards
Rally around - Playing for Life Activity Cards
[Hearthstone] How To Play Around OP Cards
[Hearthstone] How To Play Around OP Cards
Getting Fit Round Card Holders with Carrying Storage Case (4 Piece), Black
Toy (Getting Fit)
  • 4 Individual Rubber Playing Card Holders
  • 4 different colors
  • Black Hard Carry Case
Getting Fit Handheld Playing Card Holders (Set of 4)
Sports (Getting Fit)
  • Perfect gift for those that love Casinos
  • Great craftsmanship
  • Measurement: H: 1 x W: 1 x D: 1
Heritage Playing Card Company Backyard Birds Standard Poker Playing Card Deck featuring all of yoru favorite garden birds from Cardinal, to Owl and many more
Toy (Heritage Playing Card Company)
  • Fantastic Standard Playing Card Deck Featuring 54 unique images
  • Liven up your next game with these awesome images
Related Posts