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Published October 06, 2022 Updated October 08, 2022

Wüst Oval Patience Playing Cards No.240

A review of all three known versions

1910 Canada Germany USA Wüst Monte Carlo Circular Add to Collection

There are three known versions of these oval playing cards made by C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt between 1910 and 1918.
A patent was registered for the oval playing cards in Berlin in on the 23rd of March 1910 (D.RG.M. No.438297), but was dropped after 3 years (16th of august 1913) following protests from other manufactures who also made oval shaped cards. Wüst stopped producing oval playing cards in 1918 because the process of centering the image on the oval cards could never be perfected and had to be done by hand.

The first version, which seems to very scarce, shows the cards without indices. I have only ever come across one other copy in the last 40 years.


The second version is the best known version of these cards (you can see all the courts and description here).
Note the German indices and the 'X' indicating the 10 pip card. The back design is similar to the first version, usually red or green.


The third version, named Monte Carlo Playing cards, is also rare and was made for export to the USA and/or Canada. It has gold edges and a different more colourful back design. Note that is now has English indices and a number '10' on the 10 pip card. Importantly the Wüst star on the Jack of clubs is no longer visible outside the image, but hidden in the clothing of the jack.


A copy of a similar pack can be found in the James Edward Whitney collection in the Houston Library of Harvard College, Massachusetts ,USA. It was purchased in Montreal in 1915 and has exactly the same print run number on the jack of clubs (4131) as my copy, which was purchased from the USA. This seems to indicate that there may only have been one print run of this particular version. Also important is that fact that there is no mention of a manufacturer on the box or of a German patent number. This, coupled with the hidden Wüst star, was probably intended to hide the origins of the pack from buyers as German products were not welcome in English speaking communities at the time. I have not been able to trace the initials of the publisher W.B. & R, T.

Below: The boxes of the German version and the export version.

References:
1. James Edward Whitney collection, Houston Library: https://hollisarchives.lib.harvard.edu/repositorie..
2. Playing Cards from the Factory of C.L.Wüst , Symons/Shaw. Set 71


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.

1 comments

Julie Cox's Avatar'

Hi , my grandpa Ray Weer gave me that Wurst deck of cards when I was a little girl, I am almost 60 and would like to sell my rare deck of cards now to a collector. It is a first edition set. My boxes of card s is in the green box.


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