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Prague 1908 Jubilee

This special pack of playing cards, published in 1908, was available at the Jubilee Exhibition held in Prague.

Prague 1908 Jubilee Exhibition

The republic of Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 from the former Austro-Hungarian empire. However, before this the Czech lands were provinces of Austria. This special pack of playing cards, published in 1908, was available at the Jubilee Exhibition held in Prague in celebration of Emperor Franz Joseph's 60th anniversary on the Austrian throne. The four non-standard suits are themed after the Exhibition pavilions: Toboggans, Chinese Lanterns, African Shields and Barrels.

Right: brewing featured in the exhibition and is represented here by the suit of Barrels. The King of Barrels is a Jester →

There are no Aces, but the Dauses (Twos) show fairground attractions present in the fair, such as the big dipper, helter-skelter, elephant rides and the Abyssinian Chief's palace. The colour schemes for each suit are subtly different. The manufacturer's name appears on the Two of Toboggans.

Prague 1908 Jubilee Exhibition playing cards

Above: a limited edition of only 1000 of the Prague Jubilee Exhibition packs were printed. Manufactured by Jan Šrámek of Prague, chromolithography, 32 cards, 71 x 114 mms, square corners, no corner indices, in a paper wrapper.


REFERENCES

Šťáhlavsky, Zdeněk: A Pack for the Prague 1908 Jubilee Exhibition, in "The Playing Card" Vol.31 no.6, May-June 2003, IPCS, England

See also:  Czech Nationalistic'Jugendstil' designed by Artuš Scheiner, 1920Ritter & Cie "Art Deco", 1933Eagle Playing Card Co., Ltd.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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