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Published December 27, 2023 Updated December 28, 2023

Fantasy deck by Joseph Fetscher

Fantasy French-suited pack produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825.

1825 Germany Fetscher Add to Collection

Fine French-suited cards with full-length figures made in Germany by Joseph Fetscher in Munich, c.1825. The shield on the Jack of hearts reads “Joseph Fetscher in München”. The king of clubs has a lion supporting the arms of Bavaria.

Joseph Fetscher came from a playing-card making family and was granted a privilege to make playing cards in 1792. His workshop was located in Burggasse no.184 in Munich, where he produced a range of French-suited animal and scenic tarots, German-suited Bavarian pattern packs, Italian-suited Trappola packs, Vogelspiel (Cucu card game), miniature packs, historical packs, all carefully printed and beautifully coloured.

Deck with fantasy French-suited pattern produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF Deck with fantasy French-suited pattern produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF Deck with fantasy French-suited pattern produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF
Deck with fantasy French-suited pattern produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825. Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF

Above: 52-card deck with fantasy French-suited pattern produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825. Stencil-coloured woodcuts; the back has a pattern of dots. The six of hearts has a tax stamp used in Bayern from 1826 to c.1837. The text on the tax stamp is the name of a Bavarian region (Isarkreis) with a value in Kreuzer (8 Ker). Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France • Feine Französiche Karten

Ferdinando Gumppenberg studied with Fetscher when he arrived from Italy to Munich in 1809.

The wrapper has the coat-of-arms of Bavaria supported by two lions. See the wrapper

Further References

Peter Endebrock's playing-card pages: Tax Stamps from German States

A very similar 32-card piquet version is in the British Museum: number 1896,0501.257

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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