September 2007


This month's deck was found during a visit to a fellow collector of cards. Not playing cards for bridge or poker, but he collects quartet games. He is an avid collector, visits all kind of markets and sometimes finds and takes along decks of our kind of playing cards too. He showed me a box and I took home some 8 decks. Among them was this deck, that was printed and published in 1898 as Whist No 260 by the Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken A.G. Abt. Altenburg.

The deck was designed by Otto Tragy (Prague 7/3/1866 - Pasing 7/1/1928), who was a member of the Münchner Künstlergenossenschaft and the artists union "Ring" in Munich. It is probably thé Jugendstil (Germanic pendant of Art Deco and Art Nouveau) deck of Germany. Beautiful designs, printed in fine chromolithography.... no wonder it became a success immediately after it's first publication.

There's a Dutch tax stamp on the Ace of Hearts.

The deck was so successful that a smaller version was published too, as "Patience No. 265", measuring 66 x 43 mm. The cards from the regular deck -as shown here- measure 93 x 60 mm. The deck remained successful until late in the 1920's.

The deck consists of 52 cards and 1 joker. It comes in a carton box with the backdesign printed on one side and the name of the manufacturer on the other side.