B. Dondorf: Birma Karte No.194 [ 1867-1920 produced for export to British colonies ].
Based upon one of the oldest standard patterns*, the Kings and Queens are three-quarter length figures whilst the Jacks are full-length with legs giving the impression that they are walking about! Single-ended (full-length) courts were common in the early 19th century, but were gradually replaced by double-ended courts. All costumes are elaborately decorated. Whilst several manufacturers were experimenting with decorated versions of the standard International pattern, this is definitely the most remarkable example designed by Dondorf. Examples are known with wrappers printed for Hegt & Co. Trading Company, Rangoon (Burma).
* Note: playing cards from northern France reached England in the 15th century and became the English International pattern. These cards have many similarities but are not exact faithful copies of the 'English' pattern. Even the Ace of Spades has a lion and unicorn.
Above & left: Dondorf's Birma Karte No.194 printed by chromolithography for exportation to British and other colonies, 1867-1920. 52 cards, square corners, no indices, the reverse is blank but could also be a tartan pattern of green and pink lines. Size: 64x94 mms. The name of the manufacturer appears somewhere on each court card as well as the Ace of Spades. Single-ended (full-length) courts were common in the early 19th century, but were gradually replaced by double-ended courts. For a time the two forms were used side by side. Images courtesy Barney Townshend.