“Cartes Comiques”, published by B. Dondorf, 52 cards (no Joker), printed by chromolithography, square corners, 65mm x 94mm, c.1870-1888. The reverse shows Cinderella and the Prince in a casement, their faces forming a Heart and Diamond, with Club and Spade in vignettes below.
There have been many variations in the design of “Club Karte” including the introduction of borders, corner indices and rounded corners, and variations in the inscriptions on the Aces over the years. This edition, with delicately chromo-lithographed flesh tones and colours, was produced by Dondorf during the period 1860-68.
The court cards in this well designed double-ended pack are realistically dressed in 16th century costumes with German suit symbols. The Kings and high ranking personnel are strict and austere. The farm workers and artisans remind us that the early 16th century was also the time of The German Peasants' War. Published during the period c.1926-1933. The reverse shows Prussian eagles.
Dondorf's ‘Einköpfige Deutsche Spielkarte No.303’ (‘Single-ended German Playing Cards’) were produced during the period 1900-1930. As the title suggests, the cards are single-ended with German suit symbols (acorns, bells, hearts & leaves). The numeral cards have charming illustrations of rural scenes.
Although not historically accurate this example is subtitled “Stuart period”, with rich costumes for the Kings who resemble little emperors; luxurious accessories for the Queens and flamboyant Jacks all creating associations with an imaginary period sometime before the French Revolution.