September 2008


A good find at the flea-market in Utrecht this month. The more decks you have, the less chance that you'll find something new for your collection. But this time we brought home a deck, that was published as Nr. 100 by Antoine Van Genechten S.A. from Turnhout, Belgium.

It is an unusual deck in several ways. The pattern on the courts is known as the Dutch pattern. Although it has never been produced in the Netherlands, the pattern has been exported by different Belgian makers to the Netherlands, since the 1920's accompanied by Dutch scenic aces. Nowadays this pattern is still made for the Netherlands by Carta Mundi.


So the first thing that is unusual is that the indices on the courts are French, just like the text on the box. But when we look at the aces and see that scenes from Belgian towns are shown and the captions are in French too, it is safe to assume that this deck wasn't made for export to the Netherlands, but for the Walloon, French speaking, part of Belgium.

The deck was printed in lithography and probably dates from around 1925.

Another unusual feature is the background on the courts. Usually the Dutch pattern doesn't have a background design. This not often seen feature has been used by another Belgian manufacturer, Mesmaekers, on their "Cartes Impériales" pattern from the late 19th century and on the "Rhenania" deck by the Dutch Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland from around 1910. The latter was an almost exact copy of the Cartes Impériales by Mesmaekers. The designs in the background in this Dutch patterned deck are completely different when compared to the Cartes Impériales.

The design of the cute "little joker" is repeated on the back of the box.

Whist, round gilded corners

Ivory playing cards