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11:21am on Sunday, 9th August, 2020:



As I maaay have mentioned, I bought some more old packs of playing cards recently for cheap. I've already shown you two packs, but to spare you more agony than necessary I'll show you the final two packs together.

These are standard Dutch pattern cards. The one with scenic aces has 33 cards (A, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K in four suits plus the 6H) and comes in a box. The other one has 32 cards (no 6H) and is boxless; its cards have gilt-edges corners. Although the latter are of a higher colour print quality than the former, they're not as good elsewhere: the black ink is thin on the non-court cards, so the pips on the spades and clubs aren't always as solid as they should be. Neither deck is aligned accurately: the one with scenic aces prints the pips on the red court cards slightly off-centre (see the JS in the scan; the QH is particularly bad, with the heart symbol overlapping her head at one end); the other deck prints the non-court cards slightly off-centre.

As for how old the decks are...

The one without the scenic aces is harded to pin down, but judging by its back it was probably manufactured by Brepols of Belgium. They did a version with the exact same back from 1916 until 1970 (when the Brepols playing cards division was sold to the newly-formed Carta Mundi, who also used this back but with a higher print quality). The name of the deck was "Royal Cards 221" — but that's for a full deck of 52 cards plus joker(s). My deck is a Piquet/Skat deck, though, which would likely have a different number. At a guess, I'd say it was from 1950 plus or minus 10 years.

The deck with the scenic aces was intended for the Dutch market (the 6H acts as a joker in the Dutch game Pandoeren). This is easier to date, because this particular set of aces with colour-challenged court cards was printed by Biermans in about 1940. The Biermans name, like that of Brepols, came to an end in 1970 when it was merged into Carta Mundi. The aces, as you can see, have a 1 index rather than an A index. I'm not sure, but I think the full-suits version of this deck came with a joker.

Again, these decks are a lot less old than what I normally go for, but I liked the different takes on the same pattern. Also, because they were from the same seller as the other two inexpensive decks I could save on postage by ordering them at the same time.

You can rest easy now: there'll be no more random playing card posts until I risk opening the decks I have defumigating in the garage.

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