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Published January 05, 2023 Updated September 21, 2023

Spielkarten in Bromsilber-Photographie

“Spielkarten in Bromsilber-Photographie” facsimile edition by Vito Arienti of Edizioni del Solleone, Italy, 1983.

1983 Germany Italy Solleone Verlag der Neuen Photographischen Gesellschaft Facsimiles & Replicas Photography Theatre Add to Collection
“Gestzlich Geschutzt NPG” logo

This limited facsimile edition of 800 packs was published in 1983 by Vito Arienti of Edizioni del Solleone. It is a reproduction of a German pack originally produced by the Verlag der Neuen Photographischen Gesellschaft in Berlin, c. 1900.

There are 52 cards, plus 2 jokers and an extra card showing a young woman holding a medallion which reads “Gestzlich Geschutzt NPG”. The court cards are identified by the appropriate suit sign at the top left and bottom right of the card, whilst the 2 of each suit is represented by the appropriate suit sign at the top and bottom centre of the card. All cards have plain backs, square corners and no corner indices. The cards, including the pip cards, show photographs of actors and actresses from the Berlin Theatre wearing stage costumes and standing against painted set decorations. The Ace of Hearts has two tax stamps and there is also a maker's trademark on the Jack of Clubs. See the box

“Spielkarten in Bromsilber-Photographie” facsimile edition by Vito Arienti of Edizioni del Solleone, Italy, 1983 “Spielkarten in Bromsilber-Photographie” facsimile edition by Vito Arienti of Edizioni del Solleone, Italy, 1983
“Spielkarten in Bromsilber-Photographie” facsimile edition by Vito Arienti of Edizioni del Solleone, Italy, 1983

Above: “Spielkarten in Bromsilber-Photographie” facsimile edition by Vito Arienti of Edizioni del Solleone, Italy, 1983.

An original German pack from the Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan collection was sold at Christies, 2006 here

Note from Roddy Somerville

In the Arienti reprint of this pack, there are in fact two stamps on the Ace of Hearts, both Italian.

The Jokers, of course, are not original. They have been added to the reprint and are merely copies of the King of Spades and the King of Hearts.

It should be noted, too, that these images were also used on a set of postcards. I have 24 out of the 52. Only one of mine has been postally used - sent from and to Brussels in 1905. No red colouring has been added to the red suits - they are left plain white. The trademark which appears on the Jack of Clubs in the pack of cards is present on every one of the postcards. Fortunately, I have the Ace of Hearts which does bear a German tax stamp. This suggests that someone in the German tax office thought that the whole set of postcards might actually be used to play a game of cards! - R.S

See 4 postcards

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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