So-called Pyramid

dated 1653



So-called Pyramid

The game is structured into four armorial colours (Bohemia, Holy Roman Empire, France, Hungary) with the help of figurative images in which the hierarchical structure at court is reflected. All values are governed by the order of precedence at court; the court functions include not only the high court offices occupied by noblemen but also suppliers and court servants. Along with a designated office, each card also has a value given in Roman numerals. Unique as secular woodcut images, this card game can only have been intended to while away royal hours of leisure. The virtuosity of the woodcutting skill is unsurpassed - the lines create an impression of fluid drawing - and the colour finish is executed with great meticulousness using gold and silver leaf, the costly effect of which further heightens the effect of the engraving. A number of factors suggest that the client involved was Ladislaus Postumus (d. 1457), King of Hungary and Bohemia and Duke of Austria.

Currently not displayed.

Object data

Object Name

Game; playing cards




dated 1653


Rock crystal, gilded silver, gold, enamel


jeweils ca. H. 14 cm, B. 10 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer

Inv. No.

Kunstkammer, 5077 bis 5124

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