Scenic aces with views of Brazil are quite often found on playing cards, especially those from Belgium and Germany in the early 20th. century. This pack is unusual in the fact that these are unnamed views of Rio de Janeiro which are certainly more modern and refined than those usually seen. The court cards are from House pattern 3 made by C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt, Germany. However, they seen to have gone to some lengths to hide the fact that they were made in Germany. The geometric back design is very typical of Wüst cards from the period but it usually has the maker’s name at each end of the design. The indices are French, not often found on Wüst cards, and the maker’s mark of the 6-pointed star is printed so faintly on the clothing of the jack of clubs that is almost impossible to see. It is possible that the cards were printed at the start of World War 1 when German products were not popular, so making the maker not too obvious may have made it easier to sell. This pack however was sold in Germany as indicated by the tax stamp on the ace of hearts, used until 1919.
The views on the aces depict the following places (with thanks to Cláudio Décourt & Laherte Guerra for identifying them):
Ace of spades - Municipal Theater and the "Arcos da Lapa" (Lapa's Acqueduct)
Ace of hearts - Sugar Loaf mountain and Botafogo Beach, inside the Guanabara Bay.
Ace of clubs - Industries Pavillion and Chateau d'Eau, built for the 1908 Brazilian National Exposition (now demolished) and main "alameda" of Imperial palms on the Rio Botanical Gardens.
Ace of diamonds - Botafogo Beach, inside Guanabara Bay with the Corcovado mountain in the background and a view from the top of Sugar Loaf mountain.
Below: the aces turned upside down and the reverse of the cards.
You can see another Wüst pack with Brazilian scenic aces here►
All cards shown are from the collection of 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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