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9:15am on Monday, 9th September, 2013:

Club Karte


It's been a lean summer for me insofar as purchases of antique playing cards is concerned, as I'm sure you've pleased to note. However, someone recently released several high-quality Dondorf packs onto eBay and I managed to get three without breaking the bank (prices having rocketed over the past year). One of them I already have several of (Swiss Costumes) but it was in almost mint condition and was going cheap. Don't worry, I shan't inflict it on you.

Instead, I'll inflict this pack, which arrived this morning:

It's a number 147 Whist pack in a design known as Club Karte (version 6). I've been after one of these for some time. The design was used from 1860 to 1933 (when Dondorf closed), so there are a lot of them around. However, most of them have simple aces; mine has illustrated aces, which is what I was after. That makes it more collectible (or at least people will pay more for it), which explains why I haven't won any of the bids I've put in for this design before.

According to the World Web Playing Card Museum, which I trust, the number 147 pack was manufactured between 1889 and 1928. It had indices from 1912 and the company's full name on the Jack of Clubs from 1906; my pack has neither so dates 1889-1905. There's no tax stamp, so I can't narrow it down more than that.

It's hard to use a mouse when you have blisters on the palms of your hands.

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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).