December 2017



December is usually a busy month and with the holidays somehow it also feels like a short month. There was only one Dutch collectors meeting/trading bourse and we missed it. Only two days with snow in the whole month, but the second day coincided with the trading bourse and with slippery roads it's no fun to travel and it would have taken forever to go to Kerkdriel and back. 

Fortunately Hans v.d. Zalm will organize 4 meetings next year and the first one is on January 14. Hopefully better weather then.

So the internet had to provide the new additions for our collection. Although funds were not abundant this month, we managed to find some nice decks. Worth mentioning are a nice Sherlock Holmes deck, that was found on one of the Dutch auction sites and we shouldn't forget the Royal deck by Natalia Silva. That deck came from a Kickstarter project, that had already been paid for in April. Both are modern decks and for this spot we had already chosen an antique deck. Although the skies on the aces are not as attractive as the ones from Dondorf's Swiss souvenir deck from the 1870's (see April 2012) and the courts not as fine in detail, the use of bright colours gives the deck a general similarity to the Dondorf deck. And...... this deck had been somewhere on our wish list for years.

The deck was published as "Costumes Suisse National No 93" around 1900. The bright colours make it stand out when compared with its predecessors. C.L. Wüst had already produced several Swiss souvenir decks with a more classic design and colouring in the last quarter of the 19th century. This one would be their last version of a Swiss souvenir deck.


The Confederation of Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons (states). The last one was added in 1979 and last ones before that in 1815. So there were 25 at the time that this deck was printed. Because the courts are divided into 2 images, each of a canton, 24 could have been shown. However, the manufacturer chose to show only 20. The cantons of Schwyz, Uri, Frybourg and Bern are shown twice, although in different denominations. Schwyz appears as KS and QC, Uri on the QS and JC. Maybe they deserve to be mentioned twice, because these cantons are 2 of the three "founding fathers" of the confederation (1292). The municipality of Bern joined the confederation in 1353 and that of Frybourg in 1481. Bern can be found on the KC and JH, Frybourg on the QS and JC.


A sunny day in several Swiss towns and cities.

The cantons and municipalities enjoy a considerable freedom within the confederation. Swiss law at confederation level usually only gives general rules. The cantons, who have their own government, work them out into more detailed laws. In practice a violation of a certain law may lead to different sentences per state, which can be from a simple fine to jail sentence. An other unusual result of this loose set up are the 26 different schooling systems.

On the Jack of Clubs the company logo can be found: a star with C L W inside. But there's also that intriguing number. It's different
in every Wüst deck that we have, but even the Wüst connaiseurs that we know haven't been able to come up with a plausible answer.


Front of the box, 2 of clubs, back and back of the box.
The deck has 52 cards. No joker was issued with this deck.

In April 2024 I received another Costumes Suisses No 93 deck of 52 cards. It came in the exact same box and had the same back design. However, I noticed some differences, which led to the notion that a second edition existed. Click HERE to see a comparison between the 2 editions.