Piatnik Playing Cards – A Good Read
If you love the craftsmanship and beauty of antique book covers, the A Good Read by Piatnik is the twin pack of playing cards for you! With printed, gilded and embossed covers in a palette of subdued tones, the spines of antique books make up the rather wonderful design for this double deck of bridge cards. Using the Simon Lucas Bridge Supplies card rating scale, at 310gsm the cards are Standard Quality, and are smartly packaged in a printed presentation box. The cards have standard 4-index faces, and the deck contains 52 cards plus 2 jokers and a bridge scoring card which can double up as a third joker.
Piatnik’s history began almost 200 years ago in an imperial empire, which is no longer present today. Their story began when their founder Ferdinand Piatnik (1819-1885) took over the map painting business belonging to Anton Moser. At that time, playing cards were hand painted and their production was still a craft. Ferdinand Piatnik had learned this craft in Budapest and in 1824 he started to work in the map painting business in the 7th district of Vienna. He soon renamed the company as Ferdinand Piatnik in Vienna, and when his sons joined the business it was renamed again in 1882 as Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna.
Ferdinand Piatnik developed highly successful and still well-known playing card motifs in a special way. For example, the two-engined Germans with their half-figures from Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell, the Austrian Tarot-Leaf and many Joker and Rummy cards. Piatnik was passionate about card games and he passed this enthusiasm onto his sons. The sons were quite entrepreneurial and very open to technological innovations, and in 1891 they converted the business to modern industrial production and relocated to a different part of Vienna. From there, the business expanded rapidly throughout the Austro-Hungarian empire. Unfortunately the second world war claimed their factories outside of Austria, but their passion for producing playing cards has remained undiminished.
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