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Published October 20, 2012 Updated August 12, 2022

Hundertjahrkarte

A new ‘medieval look’ is intended to suggest the power and virtue of the German character.

1933 Germany Dondorf Commemorative Add to Collection

In 1933 the Dondorf company was 100 years old. This is their special centenary deck. The mood is serious and heroic, suggesting rigour and self-determination. This is different to previous Dondorf decks which were more cheerful and exuberant. We also have a new ‘medieval look’ in the costumes, front and back, which is intended to suggest the power and virtue of the German character. The Kings lead the church and the army, protecting the empire; the noble Queens represent the power of love, domestic virtues and art; the Jacks portray chivalry, hunting, poetry and music. Attendants can be seen standing behind each figure, amongst castles, tiles and wall patterns, garlands and architecture all printed in delicate colours.

Dondorf's 'Hundertjahrkarte' 100th anniversary deck, 1933

Above: Dondorf's 'Hundertjahrkarte' 100th anniversary deck, 1933. Ironically, at this time the Dondorf business was in the process of being taken over by Flemming & Wiskott so these cards were designed and produced during difficult economic circumstances. Images courtesy Barney Townshend.

Above: the Four of Hearts acting as a title card; the Ace of Hearts with the tax stamp; the Joker with Gothic typeface and the double-ended back design.


Dondorf Centennial Bridge-Canasta by Altenburg-Stralsunder (ASS)

Based upon the 1933 deck by Dondorf, various reprints, such as this Bridge-Canasta boxed set, were offered after 1979 by Altenburg-Stralsunder. Unlike the original, these have English indices, no tax stamp on the AH and a different back design. See additional note below.

Dondorf Centennial by Altenburg-Stralsunder (ASS) Dondorf Centennial by Altenburg-Stralsunder (ASS)

Above: images courtesy Matt Probert.


NOTE: The reprint dates from 1979 or earlier (I have an A.S.S. catalogue of 1979 in which it appears). It was still available in the year 2000 (again I have the catalogue for that year). The reprint was offered in several different kinds of packaging, from plain plastic boxes with a simple title card through to the type of box illustrated above. The reprint was called "Dondorf Centennial" and had indices in English for the English-speaking market, and called "Gotic" with indices in German for the German-speaking market. I remember it from my early days as a dealer as being the most popular of all the non-standard designs produced by A.S.S., both with collectors and with card players. - Roddy Somerville.

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By Matt Probert

Member since March 02, 2012

I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.

Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.

Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.

I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.


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