Tarot Microscopique, B. Dondorf, c.1870
French-suited tarot cards manufactured by B. Dondorf (1833-1933), Frankfurt am Main, early version c.1870 : clubs depict Germany, Spades Russia, Hearts represent France and Diamonds depict England. For example, in the uncut, uncoloured proof sheet shown below, the first Ace in the top row (hearts) depicts the Louvre and Versailles; the first cavalier in the second row (diamonds) is titled "Marlborough", whilst the Jack of diamonds (holding an open book) is titled "Shakespeare", and so on. The musical harlequin is "L'Excuse" (The Fool).
Although this was Dondorf's only Tarot pack, several editions were published with differences between them. The cards shown here represent a rather rare early version of the pack, hand-coloured with the help of stencils.
Theatre programme in the form of a pack of cards. East Germany, c.1967.
Hunters, animals and birds feature on all but the Kings in this pack by Theodor Wegener, c.1863-70.
A few items used for advertising or displaying Dondorf playing card products.
A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.
Miniature playing cards, possibly for children, with a romantic theatrical theme. C.L. Wüst c.1890.
This miniature pack is very similar to one made by C.L.Wúst in c.1890.
An interesting pack of playing cards with illustrated Indian aces made "Specially for the Bombay Market", c.1915.
‘Aphorisms on the Kiss’ published by C. A. Solbrig, Leipzig, 1808.
Wüst Spanish pattern c.1910 advertising Cuban ‘Tropical’ beer.
The maker is possibly Kaspar Traugott Knaut (1799-1881).
Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.
Video by Art of Impossible. In this video you will get a short overview of the most important historical facts about playing cards and their history.
Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany
‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.
The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.
Geschichte des Buchgewerbes illustrated by Ludwig Winkler, published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck.
“So Fängt Es An” beautifully illustrated by M. Neugebauer, published by Helingsche Verlagsanstalt, c.1950.
“Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt” transport quartet game by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1958.
Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989.
‘Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien’ family card game by Dondorf.
Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.
Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.
Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.
‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979.
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
History of Motorcycles quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck, 1989.
Delightful comical deck designed by Loriot, the German cartoonist and comedian, 1973.
Kaffeehaus-Pikett featuring the old Viennese Large Crown pattern, made by ASS.
Musikinstrumente quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1984.
‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.
Darling pin-up playing cards designed by Heinz Villiger, c.1950s-60s.
Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.
‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.
Renovation 2.000 playing cards with special courts designed by Jean Hoffmann.
Fairy Tales quartet game by F.X. Schmid, Munich, 1960.
Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.
Märchen-Quartett (Fairy Tales) illustrated by J. P. Werth and published by J. W. Spear & Söhne, c.1915.
One Penny Card Games, 1920s.
One Penny Card Games, 1900-1910, mostly anonymous 'Snap' games and made in Germany.
Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955.