January 2017



January is usually a slow month, but this one surpassed all the previous ones. Hardly any trading, so not much in the pocket to spend on cards. But still we managed to get some nice additions for out collection. Worth mentioning is a rare Dutch educational quartet deck by SN from 1953. It's one of a series of 6 and now there's only 3 left to go. And there was a nice Mah-Jongg playing cards set by Piatnik from c1930 according to the seller and we haven't seen anything to contradict that. But both these decks are not of the kind that we show here. So the actual shortlist was very short, in fact there was a choice between this deck and a German deck by Schneider & Co. from around 1895.

The chosen deck is just a tiny bit younger. It was published in 1897. It's our second deck by Alexander Boman from Stockholm, Sweden. There's very little information to be found about this Swedish manufacturer. From the front of the box we learn that they didn't only print playing cards, but -like many other playing card manufacturers- also produced other printed material, like ball and theater tickets. The factory was located at Hamngatan 36 and the "prima spelkort" seem to have won several bronze medals.
From Ali Jerremalm's fine catalogue of Nordic playing cards, we learned that Boman has produced several patterns, but that this pattern here is known as Boman Classic Brown. It's probably described as classic, because between 1870 and the turn of the century it was regarded as the Swedish standard pattern. The brown refers to the used ink to print the cards with. Ali describes the used technique as "stencil coloured metal form". This same pattern also exists in a version, in which blue ink was used.

Our first Boman deck was the Deck of the Month in December 2012.
It was specially designed by a Swedish artist in a kind of Art Nouveau style, but there are some identical features.

Like the harp on King David's chest or the head of Zeus in the center of the QS design. Pallas was born from Zeus' head.

The KH in our other Boman deck also had the 3 crowns (the national Swedish symbol since the 14th century) on his chest.


On the AH are the blue Swedish tax stamp, in use since 1872, and the Boman stamp with 1830 (founding date) and 1897 as date of publication.


The name Arcine is also (mis)spelled that way in our other Boman deck, where she's the only queen without a crown too.

The crown and laurels, here embellished with two swords, can also be found on Cezar's sleeve in our first Boman deck.

A last remark: the QS, KD and JD are the only courts that are pictured in profile.... just like in our first Boman deck.

The deck has 52 cards, no joker was ever issued.