The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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4:55pm on Wednesday, 2nd February, 2011:
I got some more beautiful old playing cards in the post yesterday, following a sortie to eBay:
I love the fact that they are markedly different depending on which way up you hold them.
These are manufactured by Dondorf (a company I've mentioned before) and the Internet seems to think they're set number 190, Swiss Costumes. As for when they date from, well, there the Internet is unsure. They're a patience-sized version of a regular deck; I've seen references dating one or the other to circa 1910, circa 1920, 1925, 1932. The fact that the company refers to itself (on the Jack of Clubs) as B. Dondorf GmbH means the pack was manufactured between 1906 and 1933 (its centennial year), but as for when in that period, well, I'm sure someone will know but I don't. I've showed the back of the card because it's an edelwiss. Some versions seem to have the same back with a Swiss flag superimposed on it, and others come in pairs (twin patience packs) with either a Swiss flag or a shield on them instead. Some of the other versions also have gold-edged corners, but this one has no trace of that.
My guess is that they kept the face design because it's gorgeous and published versions with slightly modified different backs over the course of several years.
Warning: if you think I'm being a bore with my occasional postings about old playing cards, just wait until I blog about the cards I got from eBay that arrived today...
Referenced by More Cards.
Referenced by Something Odd.
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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).