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Jugendstil Tarock

Ditha Moser portrait, 1907

Jugendstil Tarock

‘Jugendstil Tarock’ was designed by Ditha Moser and first published by Albert Berger and Josef Glanz in 1906. Glanz was taken over by Piatnik in 1912 and Piatnik subsequently re-issued the deck in 1972 and again in 1982. Many of the cards show childhood impressions framed as picture stories with wooden toys combined with traditional tarock motifs. Some trump cards also include a design that is repeated to match the Roman numeral of the card. Because the numerals on the trumps appear in the upper right corner, the deck was difficult to use for play and was likely considered an attractive novelty. The cards are double ended, the same at each end, and the accompanying court cards have French suit symbols.

Piatnik re-printed the 12 court cards with a full set of number cards and a Joker as “Jugendstil Art Nouveau Bridge Nr.2136” in 1980.

Trump I is a night scene with musicians performing near a pond, II is a strolling vendor followed by a donkey with a basket of apples, III is a woman, possibly a servant, grinding coffee, the wall clocks shows the hour at 3:00, IV depicts a soldier guarding a government building. There are four angled, black slashes on either side of his guard house, V a woman holds a baby and black birds rest in a cherry tree, VI an outdoor scene with a hunter and his dog at sunrise, the tree trunks behind him total six in number, VII depicts a golden duck, white swan and red cardinal, seven baby chicks appear in the foreground, VIII in a night scene, a man sits on a goat cart and four dogs stand nearby, IX a military band performs for an unseen audience, in the background is a large edifice with nine center windows, X two performers and a dancing dog perform beneath the night moon, XI a train with four passengers passes a country house, on a distant hill is a castle, XII a monk rings a church bell to call the faithful, XIII a couple dance while a woman plays a harp, XIV a woman strolls in a park while eight birds circle a large birdhouse, XV Noah's ark rests at the edge of a mound while Noah beckons a white dove with a branch in its beak, and a bright red sun is setting, XVI a gardener waters the grounds surrounding the house where Ditha Moser was born, XVII a food vendor cooks a Viennese sausage while preparing to serve the riders in a Ferris wheel, there are eight and one-half trees in the background, XVIII St. Florian, Austrian patron saint of protection against fire, stands guard in front of Raudon, a summer holiday house, and pours sand to put out puffs of smoke rise from the burning house, XIX Ditha Moser's mother holds flowers from the garden of her summer home, XX depicts the Mautner Markof's family brewery, a religious figure with a dog appears in the large bay window, XXI a sail boat with a single sailor passes beneath a midday sun  [descriptios taken from Christie’s auction notes].

Above: “Jugendstil Tarock” Ace of Hearts, the Fool and the back design. The Fool card depicts a jester holding a puppet and a curved sword. The backs have a square grid pattern in brown.

Knights from “Jugendstil Art Nouveau” tarock designed by Ditha Moser

Above: four Knights from “Jugendstil Tarock” designed by Ditha Moser, which contans a total of 54 cards. The first edition was printed by Albert Berger and then varnished, cut, collated and packaged by Josef Glanz in 1906. All images courtesy Adam West-Watson.

Last Updated September 27, 2016 at 08:32pm

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