April 2021


This month was a poor month for new decks, but sometimes you unexpectedly stumble upon a deck. This time I was looking for something completely different when I found a box, a bit hidden against a side of a showcase here, with a full deck inside and no collection number.

I knew that the deck was already in the collection, but I checked it anyway. I found 2 versions in the Dondorf holders and one was the same as this deck here. But those decks were decks with 52 cards. This deck was a 40 cards deck for Hombre. That was the reason to keep the deck in full in the box. Probably another reason was that the cards are in near mint condition, with shiny gold corners. However, none of these decks have ever been presented anywhere on this site, so.........

Apparently the deck was made for the Dutch market, as the side of the box mentions in Dutch that it was published as "Fijnste Omber Speelkaarten No 17" (see bottom of page)  The deck was printed in fine chromolithography by B. Dondorf and published as "Java Playing Cards" in several variations between 1874 and 1933. This is variation 3 and it was produced from around 1890 until 1900. The Jack of Clubs has the name of Dondorf Franckfort in the logo on both sides of the card.
Dutch royalty on the kings and queens and Dutch soldiers on the jacks. The aces show only scenes from the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). This deck was published there as an advertising deck for the company of Gumprich & Strauss from Batavia (now Djakarta), who's name is on the box and backs. A luxury deck to amuse the better-off Dutch settlers there. 



The scenes on the aces are so fine in print and rich in detail, that I've shown both sides here. Captions are in Dutch.



The deck consists of 40 cards.
Each suit in Hombre consists of 10 cards: A,K,Q,J and 2-7.