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Published March 23, 2023 Updated March 23, 2023

Standard Swiss-German pattern (single-ended)

20th century version of a single-ended Swiss-German pattern pack for the game of Jass.

1950 Switzerland Müller & Cie Jass Standard Pattern Add to Collection

Double-ended packs with Swiss-German suits were already in use around 1860. This standard Jass pack is a late example of a single-ended version which may have been produced as late as the 1950s or even the 1960s. The full-length courts look much more distinguished than on double-ended packs. On the numeral cards, too, the suit-signs have not been turned. The maker’s name appears on the Daus of Shields. The inscription on the Daus of Bells reads “Schaffhauser Spielkartenfabrik” where other versions of this pattern read “Schaffhausen & Hasle”. Note also that the King of Bells is clean-shaven whereas in other versions he is bearded. (See further below for another version of these designs).

Standard single-ended Swiss-German pattern made by J. Müller & Cie, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, c1950s Standard single-ended Swiss-German pattern made by J. Müller & Cie, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, c1950s

Above: Standard single-ended Swiss-German pattern made by J. Müller & Cie, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, c1950s. 36 cards. Size: 55 x 87 mm.


There is a slightly different version of this single-ended pack, also with a clean-shaven King of Bells. This one is anonymous but may very well be by J. Müller & Cie, given the many similarities. One difference is the size: 55 x 85 mm. On closer inspection, the shading is often different, particularly on the numeral cards in the suits of Acorns, Bells, and Flowers. On the canopy above the King of Shields, there are only four tassels instead of four and a half. On the King and Ober of Flowers, there is a pronounced ‘J’ on the yellow part of their tunics, which is missing on the King and partly worn away on the Ober in the first pack. The overall look is cruder. This pack may well predate the one described above.

Standard single-ended Swiss-German pattern, c1950s

Above: Standard single-ended Swiss-German pattern, anonymous but possibly made by J. Müller & Cie, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, c1950s. 36 cards. Size: 55 x 85 mm.

NOTE: a similar pack (with a bearded King of Bells) is shown in the “Schweizer Spielkarten” catalogue, p. 87-88, no. 55.

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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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