May 2016



Can you call a month "wobbly"? It was the first word that sprung to mind. It was the month in which Miriam could add another year. Usually a festive day, but this time she was not well enough to celebrate it with a grand party for our friends. A diner with a friend, who has his birthday on the same date as Miriam, at the local top restaurant was the best she could manage. During the last week of the month our bathroom was completely renovated, so there were workers going up and down and dust all over the place. In between, the weather was quite good for May.

Two sunny Sunday mornings persuaded Joop to visit some fleamarkets, but he didn't bring home anything interesting. We did better on the internet and the mailman also brought decks from 3 Kickstarter playing card projects which we helped funding. But on our shortlist was only one deck that really stood out, so no discussions here this month.
We have a patience sized deck with the same designs, but with a slightly different colored background and we know that also a luxury version with illustrated backgrounds on the courts exists. Of course that version will remain somewhere on our wish list, but although this is the simplest version in regular size, we're happy we could add it to our collection.


Although it's easy to distinguish the Jacks from the Kings by looking at the design, on all the Kings an extra crown has been put above the pip.

The deck was published by F.A. Lattmann from Goslar between 1900 and 1929 and several versions are known. The luxury pattern was designed by Gustav Olms and described as 'Gewändern' (at WWPCM). This is a later version from around 1925.

Gustav Olms was a German painter and illustrator, who was born in Düsseldorf in 1864. He began with his art studies at the Düsseldorfer Mahlerschule of the Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie in 1887, but he neglected his studies more and more there and became an autodidact. In 1892 he fully quit his art studies, but became known for his illustrations in Jugendstil style. It's the Germanic pendant of the Art Deco or Art Nouveau and popular in the early 1900's. This deck is a good example of Olms illustrative work in Jugendstil style.


The aces are embellished with two similar floral designs, one for hearts and diamonds and one for clubs and spades. There's a faint German tax stamp on the ace of hearts, which was in use between 1923 and 1929.


We were both impressed by the ornate clothing, the fine details in design and the elegant and expressive portraits.

Which is probably exactly what the artist had in mind, as the title "Gewändern" means (festive) gowns or garments.

The deck consists of 32 cards, as it was published as an advertising deck, to be used for playing the German game of Skat.
It came in a brown leather holder with the name of the company embossed on front and side.