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12:58pm on Tuesday, 17th October, 2017:

For my Collection


Here are some more antique playing cards for my collection.

They're half-size, to be used for playing patience. I scanned the Clubs pictures, so you could see they were manufactured by J. Muller and company of Schaffhouse, Switzerland. A trip to the World Web Playing Card Museum (which never comes high in searches for antique playing cards, but is the best source I've found for identifying them) says they date from about 1895.

Muller is one of those manufacturers that made very nice cards but they rarely come on the market. The only ones that appear with noticeable frequency are their best-selling range illustrated with costumes from different Swiss cantons, which seem to have been a de rigeur tourist souvenir of the late Victorian era. This is a shame, as Muller employed some famous graphic artists for their cards over the years, with impressive results. You don't often see the Jack of Clubs holding a crossbow, for example.

As with most European playing card manufacturers, Muller was eventually (well, in 1999) acquired by the Belgian firm of Carta Mundi, although it still manufactures tarot cards. I'll keep an eye out for them on eBay, but they tend to fetch more money than I want to pay for them — I snaffled these on a buy-it-now deal.

I did get some other cards recently, too, a description of which I may inflict on you anon.

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Copyright © 2017 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).