Dondorf Luxus-Spielkarte “Vier-Erdteile”, c.1870
B. Dondorf (1833-1933), Frankfurt am Main, Germany ~ “Four Continents”
Dondorf's Luxus-Spielkarte “Vier-Erdteile” (“Four Continents”) was designed by Friedrich Karl Hausmann (1825-1886) and first published in c.1870. It has been re-published in several editions, variations and formats since then. Some were published after 1906, when the firm was re-named Dondorf GmBH. Earlier editions had square corners whilst the later editions had rounded corners; differences in typography and colours can also be detected in the different versions.
The court cards are dressed in the garb of their corresponding part of the world, as represented by the Four Aces: Spades show a Sultan, his wife and a Janissary (sultan's household troops or bodyguards). Hearts portray a Great Mogul, an Indian princess and an Indian warrior; the suit of clubs depicts the Spanish King Ferdinand, Queen Isabella and a Spanish ambassador. Diamonds illustrate the Emperor, the Empress and a mercenary soldier.
The painter Friedrich Karl Hausmann (1825-1886), who produced the designs for the “Four Continents” playing cards, was friends with Bernhard Dondorf for whose establishment he designed stationery, borders on wall calendars, diplomas and paper money for Japan. The first edition of “Luxus-Spielkarte Vier-Erdteile” was probably produced in steel engraving.
See also: Dondorf Spanish Pack • Dondorf Tarot Microscopique, c.1870 • Dondorf Whist No.192 / Shakespeare-Spielkarte • Dondorf Whist No.151 / Portuguese German-style deck • Dondorf Lenormand Cards for H.P. Gibson, London • Dondorf Poker No.140 • Dondorf English pack • Dondorf patience book
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.