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Published January 05, 2023 Updated January 06, 2023

Oude Kunst (Old Art) playing cards with Wüst courts

made for export to the Netherlands.

1930 Germany Netherlands A.S.S. Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabrik Wüst Buffelkarte Aces Art & Design Add to Collection

This pack with the name "Oude Kunst" or Old Art, was produced by the Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabrik in Altenburg, Germany, just three years after the after the takeover of the Wust factory in Frankfurt. Due to the popularity and reputation of cards by Wüst, they kept the Wüst house pattern type 3 courts in production until about the Second World War, usually sold under the brand name Büffelkarte (Buffalo cards) which was also used by Wüst. The lack of the Wüst star and the name 'Wust's Spielkarte' on the jack of clubs makes the pack easily identifiable as made in Altenburg. The 7 of hearts shows the Bechstein star, the mark of a factory acquired in the late 19th century.

The name of the pack refers to the fact that each of the aces depict two famous works of art by Dutch or Flemish masters, all of which are to be found in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Unfortunately only in black and white, but each work is identified with the name of the artist and the name of the painting in Dutch. One of the most famous of these is de Nachtwacht (The Nightwatch) by Rembrandt, shown on the Ace of diamonds. The reverse of the cards shows a view of the Rijksmuseum at each end, based on a photograph from 1895.

The pack was primarily produced for export to the the Netherlands, each pack containing 52 cards plus two different jokers, one of which was used by Wüst (the first shown below). My pack came in an attractive leather covered double box with whist booklets and pencils. The cards I have seen all have gold corners. However, the same packs also sold in Germany as Feinste Romme Karte Nr.84 with no indication on the box to the Art aces or the Rijksmuseum. The pack is my collection has 52 cards with a single joker and a tax stamp used between 1929 and 1931.

Below: an advertising card for the pack and a copy of the Nightwatch by Rembrandt.

Below: the double box set

Below: the box and ace of hearts from the pack sold in Germany

All cards shown are from the collection of Paul Symons ©

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By Paul Symons

Member since February 01, 2016

I'm British but I have now lived in the Netherlands for more than 50 years and am still enjoying every minute of it. I started collecting playing cards in the early 1980’s after speaking with my neighbour who was at that time a croupier in a casino. I started with just collecting jokers, but that soon led me to complete packs of cards and eventually to specialising in old and antique playing cards, particularly those of C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt, Germany. I am presently the Dutch representative of the I.P.C.S. and the auctioneer at the IPCS conventions.


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