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Published June 19, 2018 Updated March 09, 2022

Chief Cities Quartettes

Hand-made ‘Chief Cities Quartettes’ card game, c.1910.

Geography Hand-Painted Card Games Quartet Add to Collection

Hand-made ‘Chief Cities Quartettes’ card game, c.1910 by an unknown artist. Each city from around the world has 4 cards with a hand drawn and painted image at the top and titles of the other three cards to complete the set handwritten at the bottom. Possibly inspired by a similar set (maybe Famous Cities or Counties) or perhaps photos in a book, the set must have taken some time to complete. In England this type of game was sometimes called "Happy Families", "Quartet" or "A Round Game" but "Quartette" could be from somewhere else in Europe.

The card for Edward VII is a clue: his correct date is 1901-1910. Queen Victoria was 1837-1901. This suggests that the author / artist may not have been acquainted with the current UK monarchy dates, and also that the cards would have been produced in or after 1910. There may be other clues.

Hand-made ‘Chief Cities Quartettes’ card game, c.1910

Above: hand-made ‘Chief Cities Quartettes’ card game by unknown artist, 84 cards in box, c.1910. Square corners. The backs have a swirling marble pattern. Images courtesy Becky Winter.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder 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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