Who is the lady Colyton

Who is the Queen of Hearts? - A brief history of playing cards

In poker, after a certain amount of time, you can no longer see the pictures on the cards. It is worth taking a closer look. Hidden messages and historically significant personalities are hidden on many cards. Today we have a little history of playing cards in our program.

Where everything began

The cards originally come from East Asia, where cardboard card production started earlier than in Europe. The oldest known playing cards in the form of elongated, narrow strips come from China and Korea and can be assigned to the 12th century.

The first playing cards appear in Europe in the 14th century and were first documented by mentioning them as the “Devil's Prayer Book” in the city of Bern.

Fanatic monks hunt down players

The "bad gambling" was a thorn in the side of the church. Intensive persecutions are therefore associated with the names of particularly fanatical monks, for example Bernardine of Siena and Johannes Capistranus, who had numerous card games - and the players - burned at the stake.

Capistranus in particular proved to be particularly problematic because he preached in Germany between 1453 and 1456 and made it almost impossible for the very numerous map makers in Nuremberg to earn a living for a few years.

Creation of the card games popular today

The oldest surviving European game from 1427 comes from Stuttgart and shows hunting scenes of the court society. Cheaper games only became possible with the invention of the woodcut technique. The production of cheap playing cards is probably the beginning of the development of woodblock prints.

The so-called court office game, which was created around 1450, is the oldest, printed and subsequently colored card game that has been preserved to this day. In the early days, especially in Germany, the production processes were simplified, which made playing cards an export good.

From the end of the 15th century, Lyon developed a central role in card game production and made card games an export hit. The result was a dominance of the French color system with Trèfle (clubs), Pique (spades), Coeur (hearts) and Carreau (diamonds).

From the 16th century onwards, card games were cultivated in the gaming parlors of social circles. The playing cards common today are likely to be derived from the 4 by 13 hand with 52 cards, which was already known to Johannes von Rheinfelden in 1377. It consisted of 10 payment cards and 3 farm cards. The ace formed the value 1 and is accordingly derived from the Latin “as”, Latin for “one”.

The Anglo-American Poker Hand

While the so-called French hand is always chosen for Skat in this country, the Anglo-American hand has prevailed for the game of poker, which corresponds to the French hand in values ​​and colors and has only a few differences in design.

The ace of spades, for example, has a more elaborate design because, according to a regulation by King James I of England, every deck of cards had to have a kind of control symbol that was clearly assigned to the manufacturer.

In addition, the Anglo-American cards included an index for the first time, which later became the standard for the French variants.

"Suicide Kings" and the "Bedpost Queen" - Hidden Messages

When it comes to the illustration of the cards, there are things that have repeatedly given rise to wild speculation and conspiracy theories.

For example, it is noticeable that the Jack of Spades, the Jack of Hearts and the King of Diamonds are drawn in profile, while all other people are shown frontally. The three cards mentioned are therefore also called "one-eyed cards", and in some variants they form so-called "wild cards".

Another curiosity is the king of hearts and diamonds. The King of Hearts holds his sword to his head in such a way that it looks as if he is about to kill himself. The King of Diamonds also directs the edge of his battle ax exactly on his head, so that these two kings were given the nickname “Suicide Kings”.

For this reason, the king of diamonds is also known as the “ax king” because he is the only one of the four kings who carries an ax instead of a sword. The jack of diamonds is often called the "laughing boy", in English "laughing boy", because he is actually drawn with a smug smile on his face.

The queen of spades seems to be holding a kind of scepter that looks like a bedpost and is therefore ambiguously called the “bedpost queen”.

The queen of hearts in the French paper is clearly prettier than the Anglo-American one

Who are the historical models of the picture cards?

King of SpadesKing David, according to the 1st and 2nd books of Samuel of the Bible, was the second king of Israel and Judah after his predecessor Saul and lived around 1000 BC. Chr.
King of HeartsCharlemagne, born on April 2, 747, died on January 28, 814 in Aachen from the Carolingian family, was King of the Franconian Empire and was appointed by Pope Leo III on December 25, 800. crowned Roman emperor in Rome.
King of DiamondsJulius Caesar, born on July 13, 100 BC. In Rome, died on March 15, 44 BC. BC in Rome was a famous Roman statesman, general and author.
King of ClubsAlexander the Great, born between July 20 and July 30, 356 BC. In Pella, died on June 10th or 11th, 323 BC. In Babylon, was a conqueror, Macedonian king and hegemon of the Corinthian Covenant.
Queen of SpadesPallas Athene, a Greek goddess of wisdom.
Queen of HeartsJudit, biblical ideal of piety
Queen of DiamondsRachel, biblical figure as an ideal of beauty.
Cross ladyArgine, an anagram from Regina, Latin queen, often used for Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Jack of SpadesHogier, a cousin of Charlemagne
Jack of HeartsLa Hire, a soldier at the side of Joan of Arc
Jack of DiamondsHector de Trois or Roland, a paladin of Charlemagne
Jack of ClubsLancelot, the knight from the Arthurian legend