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Published December 04, 2017 Updated July 10, 2022

Schwarzer Peter

Schwarzer Peter animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s.

1920 Germany Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher Black-Peter Caricatures Nature & Environment Card Games Add to Collection
Schwarzer Peter (Old Maid) animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s

Schwarzer Peter animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s. The pairs of comical animal carictures each have a matching symbol at the top left-hand corner (fish, cup, sausage, etc), except the black cat card of which only one will be used in play (the other will be set aside). Thus the game resembles ‘Old Maid’ in English-speaking countries.

The back design is a pair of children in a circular border inside a diamond shape and an outline border, which is common to several card games sold in UK by Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher (Globe Series). However, this Schwarzer Peter game was not marketed in UK.

Schwarzer Peter (Old Maid) animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s Schwarzer Peter (Old Maid) animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s Schwarzer Peter (Old Maid) animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s

Above: Schwarzer Peter animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s. “Schwarzer Peter” was re-titled in other countries as Old Maid in England, Zwarte Piet (Netherlands), Svarte Petter (Sweden) and Pekka-Peli (Finland).

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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