If you have ever looked at the face cards in a deck of cards, you might be wondering who came up with the designs and if they are based on anybody in particular. The answer is somewhat confusing because it depends on the cards and what country your cards came from as this varied from country to country. The following is based on cards that can be traced to the French city of Rouen back in the 15th century. There are many other versions of where the face cards get their images, but this is a good idea on one version of the cards.
The following is based on the face cards as they were designed in the French city of Rouen and is based on historical figures and those from Judeo-Christian icons. There is also a Dutch version of the game. For more information on that you should visit this online-casino blog and then translate the pages. I couldn't be bothered!
- King of Spades: This card is said to have been designed based on King David from the Bible. The sword in the king’s hand is said to be based on the weapon David removed from Goliath after slaying him and on the lower part of the card you should be able to see the slingshot.
- King of Clubs: This card is supposed to be based on King Charlemagne.
- King of Diamonds: Julius Caesar is said to be represented on this card.
- King of Hearts: It is said that this is based on Alexander the Great.
These four kings, if you look at them, represent the four main areas of Western civilization: the Jewish world, the Holy Roman Empire Greece, and pre-Christian Rome.
The other cards in the deck are not as easy to identify as the kings. The queen of spades is said to be based on a goddess, Pallas Athena while the queen of diamonds was based on the woman Jacob had to wait to marry, Rachel. All of the queens are based on different people in the history at the time. The same is true of the jacks, which were designed by a knight.
If you are interested in the full history of the design of face cards, there are many books available as well as websites that will give you a full description. This is simply gives you an idea of how the cards came into being.