May 2010


Thanks to Ebay our playing card account went from a fairly negative to a solid positive amount this month and that allowed us to coddle ourselves with a good number of decks for our collection. They were as varied as our collection, so it was a tuff choice again. In the end there was a short list with a nice Polish deck from 1985 to commemorate 100 years of auto-motorization, an Italian  deck from a limited an numbered edition by Menenghello from 1977, a nice Russian artist deck and this one.

As the Fraser Coast Chronicle from Australia has -in a web article- expressed that our "Deck of the Month" here was a "much-sought-after title", we hope to live up to the expectations and present you an antique deck this month. It's always nice to take a leap in time and see what the world looked like in the early 1900's. Of course there are plenty of North American souvenir decks and a few European ones, but there are not many souvenir decks from those days that show us other parts of the globe. There's a rarely seen Chinese deck with photo's from the early 1900's and there's this souvenir deck that gives us an idea of how things looked in a part of South America. To be precise, in Peru, and to be even more precise in the capital Lima and the nearby port of Callao.


The deck was published in Peru as "Vistas de Lima" by Luis Sablich from Callao. But it wasn't produced there. The deck was made by the Chicago Standard Playing Cards Company and imported by Luis Sablich. According to the WOPC the deck dates from around 1910. However, the subtitle of the deck is "Recuerdo del Centenario", which means Memory of the Centenary (100th anniversary), and one could wonder which 100th anniversary it refers to. Peru became an independent state in 1821. 





Most of the cards show government or other important buildings, monuments and boulevards. Some cards show buildings or views of the "exposición de Lima". This international exposition took place in 1872. Sometimes it helps to roughly date a deck, when there cars in a picture. But the cars on the Ace of Diamonds don't really help. They look like T-Fords, but it could easily be made by another manufacturer too. But the model of the car suggests that it was made between 1910 and 1930.