Joop really misses
the monthly flea market in Utrecht and he's not the only collector that does.
Even the professional sellers are complaining that they have to resort to
smaller markets. Utrecht always had some 400 - 500 stalls, so it attracted a
large crowd and they came from all over the country, as Utrecht is right in the
center of the Netherlands. We guess that we're not the only collectors that feel
a bit homeless now and are searching for alternative flea markets. So maybe
we'll see each other again in Arnhem or Den Bosch. They have a similar number of
stalls, but both are much further away from our hometown than Utrecht was.
Smaller local flea markets are usually very disappointing for collectors. Lots
of second hand clothing and usually you're out on the street again..... well
within the hour.... and empty handed.
We did attend the last "Luikse markt", an outdoor sort of flea market, in Utrecht and there were a few nice outdoor markets nearby that had opened for the season in the beginning of May. And of course there's always eBay or the Dutch auction site, but when the sun is out we prefer not to be at the pc but rather go browsing around somewhere.
All in all we have added a good number of decks to our collection and once again had an interesting shortlist by the end of the month. One of the decks from that list was added to the Art & Cards Xpo, the others will remain anonymous, except for the winner of course. This time the deck didn't come from one of the usual sources, but quite unexpectedly through one of our friends. In December 2011 we had "inherited" a small collection of playing cards from a man, a member of a Catholic order and teacher, who had to be taken into a monastery because he suffered from Alzheimer. His friend just wanted that this collection got a good home and we qualified as such. This month he had found some more cards and through a mutual friend we received a plastic bag full of single cards. It took Miriam some time to sort them out, but while most of the decks were not interesting or far from complete, there was one complete deck that we didn't recognize, but that immediately stole our hearts.
no logo or name of manufacturer on any of the cards. There was no box
either, so we had to do some searching in the literature and auction
catalogues. The deck had German indices and was of such fine quality
printing, that we suspected a German origin. We looked through every
catalogue from the Braun series, but didn't find it there. We searched
Sacha's WWW Museum, but couldn't find it there either. It isn't in the
Fournier collection nor in the books describing the Albert Field
collection. But........ we found an almost similar deck in the
Cartorama catalogue of November 2003. Almost similar, because Jean Darquenne's deck had
the name of the maker on the Joker and the Kings and Queens were named
on the cards. According to Jean's description the deck was printed by Carl Flemming & C.T. Wiskott AG from Glogau, Germany, and it was
published there around 1925.
He has provided us with the name of the King of Hearts and some pictures. These and the results of our discussion about the two versions can be found at the bottom of this page. But first................ ENJOY the courts of the only known luxury deck by this company.
The courts show
historical figures They are set against a light yellow background, with a greenish-gold
On the courts and all the pips the suit signs also have a greenish-gold coloured outline.
The Kings depict actual ancient rulers, like Alexander the Great (KC),
Julius Caesar (KD), King David (KS) and Charlemagne (KH).
The Queens show mythological or biblical characters, like Pallas Athene (QS), Judith (QH) or Esther (QC).
The aces are printed in chromolithography too, but the embellishments almost look like they were airbrushed. This spray painting technique was developed in the 1890's in the USA and had become popular for decorations in Europe from the 1920's on. Each ace has a simple decoration, which is done in a different colour for each suit, but that colour is the same as used in the shoulder-straps of the courts in that suit.
On the Jacks are ancient soldiers. In the named version they are all called "Schildträger" (shield-bearers).
The deck consists of 52 cards and one joker. The cards have gold corners.
right are some images that Jean Darquenne has provided from his version
of the deck. The presence of the names is apparent.
agreed that this was a possibility, but he also suggested that it might
have been a first edition by F&W. Although that suggestion is a
very pleasant thought, we argued that when a company, that had only
produced versions of standard patterns before, published an obviously
luxurious nonstandard deck, they would probably take enough pride in
their job to mention their name as manufacturer on one of the cards.
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