February 2011


There were two events to visit this month. Of course the flea market in Utrecht, but two weeks before there was a curiosities market in that same hall. We don't always go to these curiosities markets, but thought it would be nice to spend a quiet Saturday morning on it this time. Of course there's a lot of good quality collectibles to see, so it's nice to browse around, but we've never found any real good decks there. This visit wasn't an exception. 

Ebay brought us a good number of interesting decks. Although we thought it would be an easy choice, as we had expected to receive a nice Daveluy deck before the end of the month, we had to make a last minute decision, because we waited and waited, but apparently the Daveluy deck is still on its way from Poland. Maybe it will be delivered tomorrow, but then it will have to wait and see what the competition in March will be. For this month's choice, we can only say that we hope that you like dogs.


Somehow we have bought a good number of artists decks this month. Some of them will be shown in the "Art&Cards" xpo this month, but for this spot we've chosen a deck from the Czech Republic with lovely illustrations by Jan Hora. We are more cat lovers, but were attracted by the fine illustrations. They suggest depth by a fine detailed scene in front with a hazy done background. 

The deck was made in 2007 by a small and rather unknown Czech manufacturer, the Tiskárna AKORD Chomutov, s.r.o.
It was published as "Pozor Pes!" which can be translated as "Beware of the Dog!". The deck consists of 32 cards and has the German suits and ranking.

The back design shows an early human accompanied by a dog. In the background is not the sun, but the Big Boom that started it all, suggesting that the bond between dog and mankind has existed since the beginning of dawn. And on all of the courts this bond is expressed, even on the Unter of Leaves, where the human presence is only suggested by the attentive dog. On the Obers the dogs take part in the hunt, the dogs on the Unters are all assisting shepherds. All the pips are illustrated too. ENJOY THEM!

The deck has a Czech pattern that is called Jednohlavé. On the courts the highest ranking card is the King, which is represented by two suit symbols placed at the top. The next highest is the Ober, with one suit symbol at the top. The lowest court is the Unter, where the suit symbol is placed at the bottom of the card. There may be some confusion between the King and the Deuce (ace), as both have two suit symbols at the top, but the Deuces are easy to recognize, because they always have an added embellishment.

The aces show legendary dogs. We don't recognize all of them, but the Ace of Leaves shows the Hound of the Baskervilles (with a small portrait of Sherlock Holmes too),  on the Acorn Ace there's the famous St. Bernard dog with his casket of  whatever the Swiss put in there and it could be Lassie on the Ace of Hearts,  which also carries the name of the manufacturer.