June 2023

It was a busy month again, full of appointments with friends and collectors. And of course there was the Collectors Day in the Turnhout museum. I also participated in 2 auctions this month. A French auction house in Bordeaux brought me the Joker of the Month and some decks to trade. None of them came close to be on this page. More important was the English auction of some decks from the Dudley Ollis collection. I won 2 lots there, but they will hopefully arrive here in July, so one of them will be shown as Deck of the Month then.

So for this month I had to look for a deck within our collection and as I was just going through the albums with old German decks to reunite some of them with their pip cards, I came across this deck. I only had to check if I hadn't shown it before elsewhere on this website. I've always liked the deck, so I was surprised to find that I hadn't. It probably came in a month with an even more appreciated deck for this spot.

I should have shown this deck last year around this time, because in 2022 it would have been the 125th anniversary of the then called STIGA exhibition. Until 1897 this exhibition was known as the Leipziger Messe, a yearly trade fair in Leipzig, Germany. This trade fair has a long history, which can be traced back to the 12th century. Unofficially the first Leipziger Messe is dated as around 1165.
Until 1897 it was a simple trade fair, but in that year it was upgraded to a more elaborate "Mustermesse" (Sample trade fair), with pavilions and entertainment. However, this deck is still referred to among collectors as the Leipziger Messe deck. It has been reprinted in Altenburg around 1970, but here's the original deck.

This detail on the 9 of Acorns reveals the purpose of this deck:

"Erinnerung an die Sächs(isch) - Thüring(ische) Ind(ustrie) u(nd) Gew(erbe) Ausstellung 1897" (now shortened to STIGA).
Translated in English:
Remembrance of the Saxon- Thüringen Industrial and Commercial Exhibition 1897.

The deck was printed and published by the Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik Schneider & Co. in 1897. It was designed by Arthur Lewin. The deck is printed in chromolithography and has gold corners. The deck uses the German suits (Leaves, Hearts, Acorns and Bells) and ranking King, Ober, Unter. The Ober and Unter can be distinguished by the place of the suit sign: Ober on top, Unter at the bottom. The kings have 2 suit signs, but can easily be distinguished from the "Daus" (ace), because the aces never depict a person. The courts in this deck show different single figures.


Police officer 1840-50

Member of the Kommunal guards    

Count Dietrich of Landsberg


The Brühl was the "world fur trade" street in Leipzig

Student from the (18)40's           

Emperor Maximilian

 From left to right: the shields of Meissen, Thüringen, the House of Wettin and the city of Leipzig.


A trade fair loader
Commander of the Kommunal guards  

Duke Albrecht of Saxony.


Trade fair musician
Night watchman                  

Emperor Charles V