The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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12:54pm on Thursday, 21st May, 2020:
Here's the second pack of cards I bought for cheap.
These are Piatnik patience cards using their Rococco pattern. There are three odd things about them.
Firstly, the indexing has different sizes for each corner. This is something you don't normally see with Piatnik: either they have all four the same size or they only have two (or, if early, none). You do occasionally see it with their subsidiary operation in Hungary, though (Piatnik is an Austrian company), which suggests that this one was printed there — probably in the 1930s.
Secondly, the indexing sometimes overprints the image. The heart in the Queen of Hearts goes over her bonnet, for example. This is a bit unprofessional; my guess is that the top-left indeces were enlarged, rather than the top-right indeces reduced, and that the indeces were added to the sheet before cutting but after the pictures.
Thirdly, the Ace of Hearts has a square on it (the Ace of Diamonds does, too). This is for the tax stamp to go in. Back in the day, playing cards in many countries were taxed by a certain amount, and the most common way that such payment was acknowledged was by a tax stamp. This usually went over the Ace of Hearts in Germanic countries. Piatnik got fed up with seeing their beautiful aces defaces this way, so put a special place on them for the tax stamp to go. This pack doesn't have a tax stamp there, though: it has the number 38 printed instead. This could mean the cards were printed in 1938, but then it could mean something else entirely.
Fourthly, the pack has a non-standard joker. I haven't seen this one with other Piatnik decks, and neither has the World Web Playing Card Museum.
All in all, it's a nice pack of cards except there's some damage to one of the Queen of Diamonds's faces. This perhaps explains its low price.
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