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Published May 05, 2014 Updated August 21, 2023

Jeu des Fleurs

Dondorf no.332: ‘Jeu des Fleurs’ French edition

1900 France Germany Dondorf Botany Nature & Environment Card Games Add to Collection

Dondorf: ‘Jeu des Fleurs’, c.1900

Dondorf's popular “Flora Quartett no.332” Flowers Quartet game was translated into other languages and this is the French language edition. A total of 40 different flowers are printed in magnificent chromolithography, grouped into 10 sets. The educational potential of the game was not overlooked and the extra card (right) lists these sets as Spring, Summer, Autumn, Shrubs, Fields, etc. The back design shows the ‘BD’ monogram. After the demise of B. Dondorf's games department in 1929, this and other games from Dondorf's catalogue continued to be published by J. W. Spear

Dondorf Card Games

Dondorf began producing card games (rather than playing cards) in around 1870 with a then fashionable “Question and Answer” game which was obviously aimed at children because all the illustrations were of children. Around the same time there were children’s quartet games with sets such as Ass, Moon, Sheep etc and a musical game. By 1900 the “Struwwelpeter” game and “Wappen Quartet” were on the market. A “Black Peter” game appeared by 1905 but not so much with pairs of characters but pairs such as Trees, House and Cyclists. It seems that all the games cards were catalogued with a number beginning with a “3” and many are numbered between 314 and 352. This would suggest that at least 37 games were published up to the time when Dondorf were taken over. At this point Spears purchased the rights to the card games and continued to publish the educational ones featuring flowers and animals etc.


Box from Dondorf ‘Flora’, c.1905 Instructions from Dondorf ‘Flora’, c.1905

Above: box and instruction cards from German language edition. All the cards in the game are also captioned in German. Images courtesy Ruud Ruitenberg.

See the English version published by C.W. Faulkner in 1903: Flora

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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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