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Published August 28, 2006 Updated March 15, 2022

Jany Group

Deck issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken, 1983.

1983 Germany A.S.S. Commemorative Add to Collection
back design

This special deck was issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken in 1983. The four suits feature court cards from 4 different times in the company’s history, which includes numerous takeovers of older firms. The three jokers contain further details


Turn of the century

The spades courts are taken from Dondorf’s popular “Baronesse” Whist No.160 which first appeared sometime in the early 1900s. After the Second World War the deck continued to be produced both by the VEB Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik as “Rokoko” and by ASS-Spielkartenfabrik, Leinfelden-Echterdingen as “Baronesse”.

Deck issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken, 1983.

Late 19th century

The hearts courts are from Dondorf’s “Empire No.170” first published towards the end of the 19th century. In 1933 Dondorf’s business was renamed “Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken AG” and production was gradually transferred to Altenburg.

Deck issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken, 1983.

Turn of the century

The club suit courts are a 1930s pattern reproduced in 1970 as Salon Bridge Canasta No.66 by AS

Deck issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken, 1983.

Early 1950s

The diamonds courts appear to be from Comtesse by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, which had been acquired by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken in 1972.

Deck issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken, 1983.

The chronological table shown below is from a 1957 book listing the takeovers in the company’s story. It was a special issue book supplied to customers celebrating 125 years of being around since 1832.

ASS chronological table

Above: ASS chronological table.

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773 Articles

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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