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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Fynste Java Speelkaarten

Dondorf's "Fynste Java Speelkaarten No.17" was published to commemorate the second marriage of King William III with Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont, on January 7, 1879.

B. Dondorf: Fynste Java Speelkaarten No.17

Dondorf produced this fine chromolithographed pack for Gumprich & Strauss in Batavia, Java, now Jakarta, in which the four Aces illustrate scenes from the former Dutch East Indies during the colonial period. The pack was published to commemorate the second marriage of King William III with Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont, on January 7, 1879. The Kings and Queens are members of the Dutch Royal Family. The four Jacks are Dutch soldiers (Hearts = artillery, Diamonds = cavalry, Spades = infantry, Clubs = Marines). The Jack of Clubs has a small Dondorf logo. The deck continued to be published into the early 1930s with small indices (A, K, D, B) added in c.1910.

the four Aces from Dondorf's Fynste Java Speelkaarten No.17 published for Gumprich & Strauss in Batavia to commemorate the second marriage of King William III with Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont in 1879 Dondorf's Fynste Java Speelkaarten No.17 published for Gumprich & Strauss in Batavia to commemorate the second marriage of King William III with Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont in 1879 the back from Dondorf's Fynste Java Speelkaarten No.17 published for Gumprich & Strauss in Batavia to commemorate the second marriage of King William III with Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont in 1879

Above: Dondorf's "Fynste Java Speelkaarten No.17" published for Gumprich & Strauss in Batavia to commemorate the second marriage of King William III with Princess Emma of Waldeck-Pyrmont in 1879. Printed by chromolithography: 52 cards in box, no Joker: 92x65mm. The Kings and Queens are members of the Dutch Royal Family. The King of Diamonds = Prince Alexander and the Queen of Diamonds = Princess Marianne; the King of Clubs = Prince Henry and the Queen of Clubs = Princess Marie; the King of Hearts = King William III and the Queen of Hearts = Queen Emma, Princess of Waldeck-Pyrmont; the King of Spades = Prince William of Orange and the Queen of Spades = Princess Sophie. Images courtesy Barney Townshend,


REFERENCES

Hoffmann, Detlef and Dietrich, Margot: "Die Dondorf'schen Luxus-Spielkarten", Harenberg, Dortmund 1983.

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By Barney Townshend

Member since October 06, 2015

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Retired Airline Pilot, interested in: Transformation Playing Cards, Karl Gerich and Elaine Lewis. Secretary of the EPCS. Treasurer of the IPCS.

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