June 2014


The morning of the first Sunday of this month was spend in Velddriel, at a collectors meeting. There were again less participants and visitors than in December, but Joop came home with some nice finds. A week later Miriam could join him to go to the yearly Collectors Day at the National Playing Cards Museum in Turnhout. It was nice to see most of the Belgian collectors again and as always a good number of the Dutch collectors showed up too. We found a few nice decks there and a Dutch fellow collector surprised us with an interesting gift: a wholesale box for 12 decks by the Spanish manufacturer Hija de B. Fournier S.I. from Burgos. It has found a spot in one of our glass show cases that same day. 

However, a few days after our return from Turnhout Miriam had a new outburst of her lung emphysema and ended up in hospital again not long after. This time her stay there lasted for a week, but she returned home again just in time to have her say in this month's choice. With a little help from Ebay and the Dutch auction site, there was quite a list to choose from. Worth mentioning are a rarely seen vintage French deck by Camoin with an antique single image pattern, a South African souvenir deck from around 1930 and a new and modern Icelandic "Fornsagnaspil" deck. We also acquired a salesman's book by the Belgian manufacturer Van Genechten S.A. from Turnhout, with some twenty pages of examples of different types of cards, probably from the 1930's.

And we shouldn't forget to mention the gift from Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham: a Blue Blood Redux deck. We must have missed that one at Kickstarter and it's almost sold out now, so a much appreciated gesture. The deck and a comparison with the original Blue Blood deck can be seen in the Art&Cards section.

For this spot we're going Scandinavian again. This time Denmark, as the name of "S. Salomon & Co" and "Kbhvn" (Kopenhagen) is on the Jack of Clubs. We bought this deck from Han Janssen, a former IPCS president, in Turnhout. We don't see him and his wife Toos very often, but they always come to Turnhout. 
For older Scandinavian decks we always consult the catalogue by Ali Jerremalm. We found two examples of this pattern there, but although the images are the same, neither was exactly like our deck. Both are titled "Pattern B". The first has no indices and was made by L.P. Holmblad around 1840. The second deck has indices (K/D/B) and is attributed to S. Salomon/Holmblads Spillkortforetning and dated c1910. But before making a further attempt to date the deck, let's enjoy the cards first.............

There's only a faint tax stamp on the Ace of Diamonds and the deck came without a box, so there's nothing to indicate a date. The back design is interesting though. In a mirrored version this pattern of diagonal "waves" and "sea stars" has been used for the backs of at least two different decks by L.P. Holmblad. One was dated c1840 and the other c1880. It's not much to go by, but we believe that our deck probably dates from the last decade of the nineteenth century.

Anyway, there are some lovely face cards in this Pattern B and.... we've learned three Danish words too!