The company of C.L. Wüst from Frankfurt published the "Wilhemina" cards in 1890. The deck was printed in fine chromolithography and came with a set of scenic aces, which depict scenes from 5 different Dutch cities and from the Dutch colonies in the West and East Indies
A second version of this deck was published around 1905 as National Playing Cards. Two changes were made in the Queens, but the accompanying set of aces remained the same.


The first Dutch expedition to the East Indies set sail in 1595. In 1602 the VOC (United East Indian Company) was established. This company was by charter granted the right to build fortresses, wage war and make treaties all around Asia. The company settled its headquarter in Batavia (now Djakarta) and for almost 200 years they have ruled the East Indies as a company. In 1800 the VOC was dissolved after bankruptcy and the East Indies became a part of the Dutch kingdom. This lasted until after the end of WW II and in 1953 the East Indies became an independent state: Indonesia.

So the presence of scenes from the East Indies on aces in Dutch decks wasn't unusual and even foreign manufacturers have supplied decks for companies, that had settled there.


Bernard Dondorf from Frankfurt printed the "Java Speelkaarten" for the first time in 1874. It was published to commemorate the 25th year of the reign of King William III. The Dondorf logo and name are printed on the Jack of Clubs. The courts show Dutch royalty and military men. This deck is from the second edition in 1879, with Queen Emma as the Queen of Hearts. Her predecessor, Queen Sofia, had died in 1877. The deck was commissioned by the company of Gumprich & Strauss from Batavia (now Djakarta) in the Dutch East Indies and it was accompanied by a set of aces with views of sites or towns from the East Indies, some with typical Dutch names like Rijswijk, Uitkijk, Buitenzorg or Waterlooplein.


Around 1880 the Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken from Stralsund published a deck for Van Duym & Co from Soerabaja, as "Fijnste Java Speelkaarten No. 117". The Kings represent successful Dutch generals in the Atjeh war. On the Queens and Jacks some of the different ethnic people from the East Indies are represented. Some of the courts are embellished with gold-coloured details. There's a great resemblance in the design of the aces. It's not unusual for those days, that manufacturers were "inspired" by popular designs by other makers and produced almost similar courts or in this case aces. But at least the shown views are different here. The captions on the courts and aces are in Dutch.


This deck by B. Dondorf was published between 1927 and 1933. The deck comes with a set of scenic aces with views of different Dutch cities and towns. It was published with different factory numbers, here: Nr. 424, 52+j version. A 32 cards version was published as Nr 516.
The view of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on the ace of Hearts is a bit unusual, because the statue of "Naatje" is depicted in front of the palace. This statue was removed from the Dam Square in 1914. It's rather sloppy  to find this -by then incorrect- picture in a deck that was first published in 1927. 


However, that same set of aces had already been published by Dondorf before, in the “Club” deck Nr. 247 (Braun: variation 8), that was made for export to the Netherlands in 1912. At that time it still gave a true representation of the Dam Square, but probably nobody had noticed that by 1927 the situation on the square had changed.

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