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Published March 26, 2023 Updated March 26, 2023

Schwyzer Fasnachts-Jass

Traditional carnival figures from the Swiss canton Schwyz, as interpreted by the artist Léon Schnyder.

1991 Switzerland AGMüller Léon Schnyder Fasnachtskarten Jass Add to Collection

Typical carnival figures come from many sources, including the commedia dell’arte, and represent many aspects of life: some are saucy, some are devilish, and some play music. The masks are unique to each village. Léon Schnyder has distilled all these elements into one cohesive pack featuring masks and costumes from the carnival held annually in the Swiss canton Schwyz. The numeral cards all have hands decorated with and holding the appropriate suit-sign. The Swiss-German suits have been simplified, such that one colour predominates in each suit – green for Acorns, blue for Shields, red for Flowers, and yellow for Bells. The pack has a modern feel despite the traditional subject matter. An extensive commentary detailing what is on each card and the history behind ‘Fasnacht’ can be found in the accompanying leaflet which is in German, French and English. See the leaflet

Schwyzer Fasnachts-Jass designed by Léon Schnyder and made by AG Müller, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, 1991 Schwyzer Fasnachts-Jass designed by Léon Schnyder and made by AG Müller, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, 1991 Schwyzer Fasnachts-Jass designed by Léon Schnyder and made by AG Müller, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, 1991
Schwyzer Fasnachts-Jass designed by Léon Schnyder and made by AG Müller, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, 1991

Above: Schwyzer Fasnachts-Jass designed by Léon Schnyder and made by AG Müller, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, 1991. 36 cards + leaflet in tuck box. Size: 57 x 89 mm. © Léon Schnyder.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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