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Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher

Globe Series Trade Mark

Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher was established in 1883 by Emil Oppenheimer and Ignatz Sulzbacher who were experienced in the stationery trade. The business was to be that of merchants and exporters only, based in Nurnberg in the south of Germany. The company had great success with sales to Great Britain under the “Globe” brand. The quality of their litho-printed games became a huge asset and we can see how good it was from the surviving games today. Many of them were designed in the UK but produced in Germany. Titles include: Sons of the Empire, Marto, Ephori, Karoo, Triplem, Flipperty Flop, Sweet Wedding Bells, Fairy Snap, Football and Referendum. Some other games were designed in Germany and it's fun to look through them to find typically clothed German characters in the games.

“Sons of the Empire”

Above: Sons of the Empire published in either card or wooden boxes. The wooden box version cost 1/- so the card box one must have been cheaper, at a guess 6d. These Globe games by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher are hard to date. It seems that they were published between the 1890s up to around the start of the first World War when German sources were cut off.

“Karoo” later reissued as “Triplem”

“Karoo”, later reissued as “Triplem”, by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher, c.1900

Above: “Karoo”, later reissued as “Triplem”, produced in Bavaria for Globe Series by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher, c.1900   more

There are other games which were probably exported to the UK by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher which came from a different supplier without being branded “Globe”. These include two snap packs, one with a child dressed as a policeman on the box and the other a girl with a pony tail skipping.

See the Box

Snap card game produced in Germany by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher, 1920s

Above: Snap card game produced in Germany by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher, 1920s. The back design is a young couple of children in a circular border inside a diamond shape and an outline border. These cards are larger in size than is usual (67mm x 95mm) and the boxes are telescopic. One edition has “631c British Made” on the box which is odd as the same back design (and strange card size) appears on two other packs which were produced and sold in Germany. Images and notes courtesy Rex Pitts.

See the Box

Snap card game produced in Germany by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher, 1920s

Above: Snap card game produced in Germany by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher, 1920s.

All the Globe Series games were prepared by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher and ordered exclusively for their catalogue for the UK. I expect that the snap games were available from a different printer than the usual one they used and came from that printer’s stock as they were printing other games with the same back design. One is a Black Peter pack with animal characters and the other a Struwwelpeter in German. They could have been offered to O&S who then offered them on to the UK market just to boost orders.

Struwwelpeter card game produced by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher

Above: eight cards from a Struwwelpeter card game produced by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher.

When Hitler came to power Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher was eventually subject to “Aryanisation” because the owners were Jewish. Emil Oppenheimer had died in 1922 and Ignatz Sulzbacher also died later at an unknown date. The business had been run since then by their children Sigmund Oppenheimer and Jenny Sulzbacher. The company was seized in 1938 and Jenny Sulzbacher was taken eventually to Theresienstadt concentration camp where she was killed at age 75 in 1944. Sigmund was arrested, and only after the brave intervention of his wife was able to get an exit visa, maybe because of his medals which she showed them from his service in the German Army from long before the war had begun. They travelled to England and S Oppenheimer Ltd was incorporated in 1939. Sigmund and his old school friend Ludwig Goldsmith and his son Fred built the company up successfully. The “Globe” brand name was replaced with ”EMU Series” and amongst all the other wholesale items there were playing Cards and Snap cards with the new brand name.

Above: miniature ‘Happy Families’ set, 40 cards, ‘Emu’ brand, made in Hong Kong, repros of a Spears game but unlikely to be connected with the above Emu brand.


Images and notes courtesy Rex Pitts. Information about the Oppenheimer and Sulzbacher families was kindly provided by Richard Towse, Sigmund Oppenheimer’s grandson, for which I am very grateful.

Last Updated October 06, 2019 at 09:50am


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