Virgil Solis: 4 Playing Cards (1550)


(British Museum, London, UK)

Four engravings made by the German artist Virgil Solis (1514 – 1562), These 4 cards come from a set of 52. Today the most common deck of playing cards used today have the 4 suits of the French style: clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. This pack is a variant of German style suits: parrots (for hearts), monkeys (for acorns), peacocks (for leaves), and lions (for bells). These 4 prints show the 4 kings. Engravings from 1550.

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