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Published May 06, 2014 Updated April 05, 2019

La Zoologie

Dondorf's “La Zoologie” card game no.335 features a collection of 40 chromolithographic prints of species of animals from around the world

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Dondorf: “La Zoologie” no.335

a gallery of zoological prints of species from around the world...

Above: Dondorf's “La Zoologie” no.335 is an informative and edifying card game featuring a collection of 40 species of animals from around the world, including quadrupeds, rodents, reptiles and amphibians, plus a selection of fish, butterflies and birds of prey. In the spirit of late 19th century study of natural history, the animals are given their latin names as well as grouped into zoological families. It is of course these sets which make the game suitable to play “Happy Families” or Quartets, as well as imparting the basics of scientific zoology in accordance with Darwin's theories. Hence on the title card (right) we read: “Jeu de société récréatif et instructif”. See the box.

Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

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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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