November 2013



There were two major collectors events this month: the Collectors Fair by Van Spee was held in Nieuwegein and the Collectors Bourse was held in Utrecht. The latter is the larger one, but also the most expensive one to visit. Tickets for Friday are 57 euro at the box-office there.

Fortunately we have a friend who has a stall there and then tickets are "only" 25 euro. Friday is build-up day and officially the bourse is held on Saturday and Sunday. But for collectors the Friday is worth visiting, as most of the stalls are filled during the day. Walking around for 7 hours to see what's being unpacked can be rewarding and we've found some great decks in the past years there, but this time it didn't bring any spectacular finds. As the other collectors fair hadn't brought any spectacular finds either, they had to come from the internet again.

Ebay brought us a few interesting decks too, but this time the Dutch auction site came up with this deck. We finalized the deal about 4 days before the end of the month. We haven't had the time yet to do a full research, so for now we have to present you a "mystery deck" again.

The back is shown at actual size. The cards measure 38 x 56 mm. We present the courts, aces and the 2 - 6 in each suit here at 200%. The cards were printed in lithography and stencil- and hand colored. The Kings are crowned but look like field marshals, the Jacks like their soldiers. The Queens don't show royalty, but ordinary women, probably the sutlers who accompanied the armies. In each suit the 7's - 10's are regular pips, but the aces and 2's - 6's all have a small illustration at the bottom. Most of them depict children playing. Here are a few enlarged examples..........


For the moment there's very little to tell about this deck. It's without doubt from the first half of the 19th century and probably made in Germany. We found a mirrored version of the illustration in the middle here above in a deck by the German "Industrie Comptoir" company, but that maker usually prints the name on one of the pips. As most of the pips have an illustration of children playing, the deck was probably aimed to be played by children. The size could support that.
So this deck was probably made by another printer. We asked our German fellow collectors for their opinion about this deck and we got a good response. Thanks to all who have send us their ideas about this deck. We received information that about 90 % of the images from our deck could be found in a deck that was described in the "Hambürger Spielkarten"  book by Klaus-Jürgen Schultz and Frieder Büchler. Although we have over 1 meter of books about playing cards, we don't have that particular book. Fortunately we received pictures of the pages 68 - 72, on which a deck of "Kinderkarten" is described and indeed all the cards had a similar design per denomination, except for the kings, which have a completely different and more usual design for kings. Of course we have compared the cards. Click HERE to see the results.


Click THE ACE OF HEARTS to see all the pips!

Unfortunately the King and Queen of Diamonds are missing.