I had not planned to go to the general collectors fair in the Jaarbeurs, but was persuaded by a free entrance ticket. So I couldn't resist buying some decks. Most of them were vintage decks, but I also came home with this antique transformation deck. When I bought it I decided that it would become the deck for this spot. I vaguely remembered that there were a few variations of the deck, but we had never had any of them.
of course the first thing I did when I got home was to look up the deck in the
book by Albert Field about transformation decks. My recollection was right,
there are several known variations. Field calls them "Nursery Rhymes",
because the anonymous designer has used characters from nursery rhymes for the
face cards of the red suits. He distinguishes 4 versions of them and he roughly
dates all of them as from the decade after 1862, when the 3 pence duty was
introduced and when square corners were replaced by round ones and makers
stopped selling square cornered decks. Field attributes the edition by John
Galloway as oldest and distinguishes 2 versions by the printer of this deck:
Maclure, Macdonald & Macgregor from Manchester. From the shown cards this is
the second version.
Although Field mentions that a few of the transformations on the pip cards may differ, in this deck the queen of clubs is shown in Field's book as being in the 1st edition. All the other courts are exactly as shown in Field's second version. So it could be that a mistake has been made and pictures in the book got switched. Or... a new version?
The deck is not in great condition, but still I like looking at the creativeness of the (here anonymous) artist.
The deck consists of 52 cards.
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