The playing card manufacturers of Germany from 1900 until 1939 provide a complicated set of relationships that deserve closer investigation. A lot of the firms ended up as component parts of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken (later becoming two separate firms, one in the East and one in the West, the latter inheriting the trademarks and continuing many of the patterns). For a full list of the German cards in my collection except for those of ASS (see separate list), click here►
For a list of ASS/Altenburger/VSS cards in my collection, click here►
Since I don't have access to the necessary records relating to this period, I will limit myself here to illustrating some of the many types of standard English cards produced, some from firms that did not last very long. A number of different models were used, e.g. Dougherty and Goodall, but there are also some interesting in-house designs. The first of these is by Dondorf, which was used in slightly different formats from c.1890-1925.
Along with idiosyncratic clothing, we find an unturned QS with her attributes on opposite sides, an unturned QD with her pip on the left, so her posture is altered, a two-handed KD, a turned QC with arm and ermine from the traditional QS, and an orbless KC. Interestingly, Müller of Schaffhausen used the same style of head and posture, but with completely redrawn clothing.
An example of a close copy of Goodall's courts can be found in an anonymous pack with a Goodall-style AS, blacked out where the name usually appears. The pack is probably by Schmid, even though Wüst seem to have had some kind of tie-up with Goodall and "borrowed" their AS design in other packs, such as the one below with a copy of Dougherty's courts with six turned.
Above: Schmid, c.1910
Above: Wüst, c.1900
There is also an otherwise anonymous, wide-size Goodall copy with Oriental Playing Cards on the AS and box, and Made in Germany on the box. I think it's by F.X. Schmid.
The rest of the illustrations are of idiosyncratic designs by various makers.
Above: Frommann & Morian, c.1920 with some similarity to Goodall's design and an AS based on Goodall's
Above: F.X.Schmid, c.1935; note the Goodall AS with the maker's name on it, and a copy of Goodall's joker; also the KD is not in profile.
In the mid-1930s Dondorf used a different style of English court based on USPCC's wide-size turned set (US4).
Above: Dondorf, c.1933
And about the same time Walther Scharff (Deutsche Spielkarten) used a bridge-size design based on USPCC's narrow Congress courts of the time (US3.1), which eventually was used by the East German card manufacturer in various forms up until reunification. Scharff also used a Goodall-derived AS like that of Frommann & Morian.
Member since May 14, 2012
I'm Ken Lodge and have been collecting playing cards since I was about eighteen months old (1945). I am also a trained academic, so I can observe and analyze reasonably well. I've applied these analytical techniques over a long period of time to the study of playing cards and have managed to assemble a large amount of information about them, especially those of the standard English pattern. About Ken Lodge →
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
A pack of cards depicting characters from the famous play "The Wedding of Krechinsky" by Sukhovo-Kob...
Masonic playing cards created by Ivan Wojnikow, 2004.
A celebration of different postal systems in Germany from 1630 to 1850, with designs by Volker Hartm...
Historical playing cards by C. L. Wüst depicting monarchs of Brazil and Portugal.
Mythological tarot by Michael Schatzberger, Passau, Bavaria, early 19th century.
German-suited Cartomancy deck published by Johann Ernst Backofen, Nürnberg.
French-suited Natural History Tarot deck by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
German-suited ‘Heathen War’ playing cards published by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Mythological and Allegorical tarot produced by Peter Paul Fetscher junior, Munich.
Fantasy French-suited pack produced by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1825.
Uncut sheet of miniature Bavarian playing cards by Joseph Fetscher.
Classic German-suited Bavarian pattern by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, early 19th century.
French-suited Animal Tarot deck produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich.
French-suited Bavarian deck by Andreas Benedict Göbl, late 18th c.
Historical playing cards by Joseph Fetscher, Munich, c.1820.
Bavarian piquet cards with oriental illustrations produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich, late 18...
‘National Costumes of Turkey’ tarot by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig, c.1800-1825.
French-suited Æsop’s fables tarot produced by Leipzig Industrie Comptoir, c.1800-1825.
Pack conceived by Berthold Conradi, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the granting of town righ...
Dondorf Jägerkarte Nr. 465 playing cards dedicated to the theme of hunting, c.1930.
A Pomeranian Tarot deck with etchings by Georg Pommer published by Conrad Jegel, 1852.
Publicity pack for the East German furniture industry, with designs by Werner-Hans Schlegel.
Complete pack of 36 hand-painted and silk-inlaid playing cards with French suits made in Germany.
Review of “Trzes’ Moorish Deck” facsimile published by Ulrich Kaltenborn, Berlin, 2023.
Promotional pack for a German steel hardening business, with designs by Costante Costantini.
Some early examples of popular German playing cards from the XV and XVI centuries.
Costumes of people of Brazil, Peru and Mexico, with views of Rio de Janeiro on the aces.
Cards on cards in celebration of playing-card collector Franz Braun’s 75th birthday.
Artist Edward Locker’s view of London life in 1799, using every card in the pack as part of the pict...