We have organized our collection by country (of manufacturer), but we have created separate holders for a few different topics, like pin-up (2) or erotica (1) or animals (4). As an exception 3 holders were dedicated to a single manufacturer: Dondorf. It's always nice to browse through them, but today I did it in search for the lockdown deck. Because I don't want to show decks twice on my DXPO site and I've already presented Dondorf's most interesting decks in the Deck of the Month or the first Lockdown xpo's, it doesn't make the job easier. But for today I chose the "Hauptstädte Spiel" and found another candidate in the Tarot Microscopique, which will without doubt follow later on in this series. We've just heard that the curfew and lockdown will be prolonged until March 3, so there's another 3 weeks to fill with daily decks.
Okay, the Haupstädte deck.
It was first published in 1905 and is described in the pricelists with this title. Hauptstädte means capital in English and the title refers to the illustrated aces. They show different European capitals, although Zermat and Rotterdam (they wish!) are not the capital of their countries. This deck here was published as No. 211 around 1910, it's the second variant which was published between 1906 and 1917. The regular sized decks were never published with a joker, only the later Patience version.
Braun as well as Schultz/Stolzenberg mention that a special edition was made for Denmark with Danish indices and without Dondorf name on JC, but neither mention (or show) that this edition had a special (repeated) decoration on the aces. So maybe the last picture here is a sort of scoop?
I'm a bit confused by the name of the deck, because when it was exported to Denmark and Sweden there were no cities at all on the aces. And nothing else either when imported by the bookseller David Voigt. Eddie Schuiling has made a notation about the deck with Danish indices and Lily of the Valley on the aces that it was later made by the ASS.
Thanks for your comment, Ali. If the ASS published this deck after they had taken over Dondorf then it must have been in the 1930's. It's apparent that for the courts the original Dondorf stone was used> They are exactly the same in design, colour and lithographic print. Other Dondorf patterns have been printed and published by ASS in the 1930's with the name of Dondorf on the package. That name had such a good reputation for quality that ASS didn't want to give it up at first and profited from that reputation.