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2:18pm on Tuesday, 30th June, 2020:

Number 94


I bought a double pack of patience playing cards on eBay recently, for the remarkably low price of £5.

I already have a pack of these cards, which I bought in 2011. At the time, I thought they were likely to be made by Dondorf, but since then I've discovered that they're actually by Müller of Switzerland; they were "inspired" by the Dondorf Swiss Costumes design. The Müller pattern was created in about 1920, but this double pack probably dates from a bit later than that.

OK, so why did I buy this double pack when I've owned one for 9 years? Ah, well the thing is, occasionally I encounter students who are interested in playing cards, and I like to encourage them by giving them a pack from my collection. Thanks to rules about impropriety, I'm not allowed to give them to students I'm actually teaching, but I can give them to other students or to the same students once I've stopped teaching them. I thought I'd buy this double pack to give away some day.


On the box, there's a circle with the word "PATIENCE" written underneath it. In the circle is a picture. The picture is a circular cut-out from one of the playing cards. On the box of the packs I've just bought, the playing card concerned is the King of Diamonds; on the box of the pack I bought in 2011, it's the Queen of Diamonds.

If the boxes are different, I can't give them away. Worse, it means I have to collect the rest.

Looking at the picture, you may note that the court cards have two different faces on them. My King of Diamonds on the box is "Major Davel, Vaud" as opposed to "Schultheiss von Steiger, Bern".. My Queen of Diamonds on the box is "Graübunden, Grison" as opposed to "Tessin".

Instead of 12 possible faces, there are 24. Augh!

Maybe I'll just collect diamonds, that will save me some expense and effort.

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