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Published August 06, 2022 Updated August 07, 2022

Dutch Historical playing cards

Advertising for Mopenco, the Dutch Fountain Pen King

Netherlands Advertising Historical 1950

Above: a newspaper advert from 1955.

This interesting and unusual advertising pack of playing cards was printed by an unknown printer for MOPENCO, the Fountain Pen King of Amsterdam. I can only find evidence that this company existed in Amsterdam , between 1955 and 1956 with a shop at different adresses, but always with a market stall at the famous Waterlooplein market. In newspaper advertisements it is known as MOPENCO, the Fountain Pen Doctor (De Vulpen Dokter), so maybe the original name was too pretentious. The box shows a 5-figure telephone number. Amsterdam changed over to 6-figure telephone numbers in about 1952 dating the pack to the early 1950's. The address shown on the back, Nieuwe Prinsegracht 46, is now recognised as a Jewish monument in which several holocaust victims once lived during WW2.

The aces depict famous historical Dutch sea battles. The Kings are famous admirals from the 17th century, except for the King of hearts who is a 17th century cloth merchant depicted in a painting with his wife by Frans Hals. The queens are of female portraits found in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, except for the Queen of diamonds. The jacks depict farmers in traditional regional costumes. The joker is quite mad, and is named 6 times on the card. The pack consists of 52 cards plus one joker in a cardboard box, all on low quality card.

Below: The joker and reverse of the cards.

Reference: DXPO speelkaartenmuseum (http://www.speelkaartenmuseum.nl/p-kl-druk/pages/1...)

All cards shown are from the collection of Paul Symons ©.

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By Paul Symons

Member since February 01, 2016

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I'm British but I have now lived in the Netherlands for 50 years and have enjoyed every minute of it. I started collecting playing cards in the early 1980’s after speaking with my neighbour who was at that time a croupier in a casino. I started with just collecting jokers, but that soon led me to complete packs of cards and eventually to specialising in old and antique playing cards, particularly those of C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt, Germany. I am presently the Dutch representative of the I.P.C.S. and the auctioneer at the IPCS conventions.


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