Cards from the Pattern Garden

Cards from the Pattern Garden, medieval Mamluk style playing cards featuring original watercolour artwork by Ian Cumpstey

The cards are inspired by the exquisitely decorated hand-drawn, hand-painted Mamluk playing cards that are believed to have been the precursors of European playing cards.

The Cards from the Pattern Garden have the structure of a standard pack of 52 playing cards, so they can be used for games played with a standard pack. The suits are the original Mamluk suits: coins, swords, polo sticks, and myriads (cups), which look similar to the Italian playing card suits still in use in Italy. The court cards are done in the Mamluk style. This is rather different from typical playing cards as they do not have pictures of human figures. Instead, they are distinguished by the presence of calligraphic inscriptions in blue panels. The lower deputy (equivalent to jack) has one pip. The higher deputy (equivalent to queen) has two pips. The king has a square patterned throne. A card is included with a reminder of this information (pictured).

The artwork was drawn by hand in pen, and then coloured with watercolour.

There are two extra cards included that can be used as jokers if needs be. These are decorated with geometric patterns in pen and watercolour. The card back is also decorated with a geometric pattern in watercolour.


The cards are playing card size (bridge size). Released in 2024. The cards are delivered in a custom printed tuck box.

Scroll down to see more pictures.

Available to order now ... (other countries please get in touch)

Prices including P&P:

UK: £20.00
USA / Canada / Japan: £30.00
Australia / NZ: £31.00

Choose delivery address

Secure payment on the PayPal site


Playing cards are sent from the UK.

The prices on the form above are for a pack of cards plus postage. If you want to order more than one pack of cards, it may be possible to offer a cheaper postage cost for the combined package. Please don't use the form, but contact me by email if you want to request this: email

International orders will be sent by international tracked mail by default. UK orders will be sent by 2nd class post.

cups and coins

sticks and swords

court cards

extra cards

back and box