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8:28am on Tuesday, 24th January, 2023:

Muller #33


Here's the latest addition to my collection of playing cards:

These are by Muller & Co. of Switzerland. They're in good condition: gilt-cornered, in their original box. The only disappointment is that there are supposed to be 54 cards but only 52 were on sale — the jokers are missing (because some people collect jokers, so splitting a pack can get you more money). I did know this when I bought my pack, but it's still a shame.

Several companies manufactured Swiss Costumes cards, including C. L. Wüst and (my favourite) Dondorf. Muller mined the same seam with its whist #33 "La Suisse Historique" line, of which the pack I bought is an example. All of these fancy Swiss patterns are characterised by the pictorial aces, which depict scenes of Swiss cities or landmarks, and by rotationally-asymmetric picture cards that represent different regions of Switzerland. They often have an eidelweiss motif on the backs (this one does). You'll note that although Muller uses French to name its Historical Switzerland line , the picture cards have English-language abbreviations on them: they're intended to be sold as souvenir cards for an English-speaking audience.

Muller started manufacturing this pattern quite late — 1925. They switched box colour to peach in 1940, and changed the logo on it before then, so my pack probably dates 1925-1935. The print quality looks good in the scan, but it doesn't have the same lustre as Dondorf's cards do.

Still, it does look classy, so that's why I bought it.

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Copyright © 2023 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).