Hofämterspiel: exact reproduction of an historical deck
This is one of the earliest card games on record preserved in its entirety with all 48 cards intact. Its name means "Court-office Game". This handmade deck was commissioned by Ladislaus the Posthumous, king of Hungary and Bohemia and Duke of Austria from 1453 to 1457.
Each suit sign carries the coats of arms of four kingdoms: France (fleur-de-lis), Germany (eagle), Bohemia (lion) and Hungary (stripes).
The illustrations, with their names written in medieval German, depict the precedence of different court functions during the late Middle Ages, together with the values of the cards, numbered 1 - 10 in Roman numerals, except for the king and queen which have no number and are also the only two subjects that do not state the character's occupation.
In all four suits the I features a fool, Narr, or its female equivalent Narryn, and the two highest cards next to the king and queen are the master of the household, Hofmeister X, who was in charge of the court during the ruler's absence, and the marshal, Marschalk IX, in charge of any duty that involved the use of horses or carriages. With the exception of two subjects, the Jungfrawe, card VI in all suits, and the Trometer, card IIII in Germany and Hungary, all other personages are individual and don’t appear in any other suit.
The images have been smoothly reprocessed by:Pionissimo