January 2008


On January 12 and 13 there was a general collectors fair in Utrecht and that event usually brings us some new decks. Our new "Joker of the Month" comes from one of them.  Although the rest of the month was slow, our "Deck of the Month" didn't come from Utrecht this time, but came to us in the first week of January during a visit from a Dutch collector. He rather collects objects with playing cards than playing cards themselves and brought this deck along to trade. Because of the interesting design and the intriguing names on the courts we acquired this deck. 

This month these qualities were decisive in the competition. It's not always the "best" deck in terms of value or age that is brought into this spotlight here. Although the quality of the carton that was used for the cards is rather poor, the intriguing origin and design of this edition were  the main reason for our choice this month.

The designs on the courts are repeated per suit. Kings are represented by a crown, Queens by roses and Jacks by swords. These symbols are placed over an open shape of the suitcolour, that is filled with a picture of clouds in the sky. Most of them are different, but in the numbercards some similar pics were used. The cards have large names and numbers in a modern kind of type font. In the center design the English names are printed and they look as if they were typed there on an old-fashioned typewriter.

On the Aces the English name isn't placed outside of the suitsymbol, but -less visible- on the inside. 

 Joker and backdesign.......

Now there's still the question of the origin of the deck to be solved. The names on the courts and aces were a bit of a puzzle at first. The word Rei on the Kings would suggest a Spanish origin, but that didn't comply with the rest of the names. 

But -thank God- nowadays there's Google......  we entered some key words that we found on the back and box and discovered that the "sociedade interbancária de serviçios" (SIBS) is owned by the major Portuguese banks and manages the clearing. Multibanco is an interbank network in Portugal, owned and operated by the SIBS, that links ATM's of 27 banks in Portugal, totaling 11,208 machines as of October 2006. The bank members of Multibanco control the SIBS.


The Portuguese link was confirmed by the other two words: movimento and energia. Officially the name is "Movimento Energia Positivo" and it turns out to be a program against obesitas among children in Portugal. The program is operated by the Portuguese Ministry of Welfare and Galp Energie, a Portuguese petrol and energy company.

So we don't know how this deck came to the Netherlands and into the hands of our fellow collector, but it's origin clearly lies in Portugal. Judging by the quality of the cards and the finishing, the deck was probably made by a Portuguese printer who isn't used or equipped to make professional playing cards. 
The deck consists of 52 cards and 2 jokers. It comes in a box with the same design as on the backs of the cards on both sides of the box.