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Pierre l'Ebouriffé

Dondorf No.314 Pierre l'Ebouriffé - Jeu de Cartes

Alongside their magnificent range of luxury playing cards, Dondorf also produced a varied range of games for children. This example based on the “Der Struwwelpeter” stories first published in 1847 was evidently made for export to Holland, Belgium and France as it is accompanied by bi-lingual instructions. The game contains 9 sets of four cards numbered consecutively. Each set is like a comic strip with a moral lesson, telling a story about a naughty child who gets into trouble for such things as disobeying their parents, bad table manners, harming animals or making fun of foreigners.

Above: the complete set contains 36 cards. The print quality and quality of the card and packaging are all excellent. According to the label on the box the game is authorized by the publisher as well as by the author, suggesting that it was first published before the death of Frankfurt psychiatrist and author Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894), who wrote the Struwwelpeter stories in 1847 for his son Carl. The Struwwelpeter stories quickly became famous in Germany and the success spread to other countries. The stories were translated into many languages

Dondorf Card Games

Dondorf began producing card games (rather than playing cards) in around 1870 with a then fashionable “Question and Answer” game which was obviously aimed at children because all the illustrations were of children. Around the same time there were children’s quartet games with sets such as Ass, Moon, Sheep etc and a musical game. By 1900 the “Struwwelpeter” game and “Wappen Quartet” were on the market. A “Black Peter” game appeared by 1905 but not so much with pairs of characters but pairs such as Trees, House and Cyclists. It seems that all the games cards were catalogued with a number beginning with a “3” and many are numbered between 314 and 352. This would suggest that at least 37 games were published up to the time when Dondorf were taken over. At this point Spears purchased the rights to the card games and continued to publish the educational ones featuring flowers and animals etc.

Right: the box. All images courtesy Rex Pitts.

Last Updated January 26, 2016 at 02:15pm

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