August 2013

This month we both had a laid-back attitude. There were enough outside flea markets and car-booth sales, but we only did two of them. The garden was a much more relaxed place to spend the mornings...... and afternoons. So for our new decks we had to rely on the online auctions again. And again the Dutch auction site didn't have any interesting decks to offer, so this month Ebay had to provide us with some ammo for this xpo. The short list was short and we didn't have much trouble finding our new Deck of the Month. There was a deck from the Fournier b/w  "souvenir" series, published between 1957 and 1962, which left us with one to go to complete it. And there was a nice advertising deck by Carta Mundi.


Card of the Month

But we would like to use this opportunity to present you a "mystery" deck again and ask our visitors for their help. 

It's always nice if we can tell you something worthwhile about our Deck of the Month, but this time we can only describe what we (and you) can see. We bought the deck from an experienced Dutch playing cards seller, but even he had never seen this deck before. As there was neither a box nor an explicative card, we have nothing to go by, except the present cards. But we found the designs somewhat special, with some strong faces among the courts. So we hope that you will not only enjoy them here, but maybe recognize them too.............







Some of the faces look a bit familiar. The King of Spades could represent Henry VIII, although he looks rather friendly here, with his daughter Elisabeth I as Queen. The King of Hearts probably represents King Frederik I, nicknamed Barbarossa, which is Italian for Red Beard. He reigned the Holy Roma Empire in the 12th century. His crown strongly resembles the Imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire and his sword ends in a cross.

The Ace of Spades and Joker are new to us, so there's no reference to any maker in our collection. We had to look twice to recognize the up side of the design and still the whole design remains a bit unclear to us. It appears to be a scene with trees and........... some sort of a ruin?


The other two suits show royalty that we do not recognize. The Jack of Diamonds has the British coat of arms is on his chest, although the colours are reversed. Remarkable is that the Queens in these suits don't hold a flower, but regalia. Dating the deck is a wild guess, but we suspect it to be from around 1970. Our deck consists of 52 cards and one joker.






SO........... if anyone has any further information about this deck, we'll be happy to hear it and will add the info here.


And we got a response! He had already announced it during the latest IPCS convention and a few days later Chris Rainer sent us a picture of the box, which at least gave us the title of the deck:



As "Southern Rhodesia", the former name of the territory, became an independent state in 1980 and is since then known as Zimbabwe, the deck will not be older than 33 years now and our "wild guess" was at least 10 years off.

But with this title we could start working and at the moment we assume that the artwork on the back represents a part of the famous Victoria falls and we'll try to find a picture to substantiate that.

As for the manufacturer: although possible, we cannot imagine that it was produced by a Zimbabwean maker and we think that a South African origin may be worth researching as a start. We'll also start comparing the Ace of Spades with those from decks in our collection. That could bring us closer to an answer too.

But...... if there's anyone with even further information about this deck, don't hesitate to share it here!





No, there's nothing wrong with your eyes or reading glasses, but...... maybe there is.
This card doesn't come from a deck, but was part of a 4 cards set, published to advertise the SpecSavers chain of opticians. There's an Ace of Spades, showing the front of a SpecSavers shop. The Queen of Diamonds and Jack of hearts are also wearing glasses. All these cards (even the backs) were printed in a hazy and unfocused way.
Only the glasses are printed fairly sharp, which is unusual of course, as anyone with glasses can tell you. Still, we found the whole idea attractive and clever enough to put it in a spotlight here.

The courts are all taken from the Berlin pattern.  UP