Germany

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Re: Germany

Unread postby dazzleguts » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:54 pm  

Astronomical - 1719

2004 reproduction of the original, as in the collection of the Fournier Museum in Vitoria, Spain.


I can't sem to find much info on these. These are more archaic but a bit similar to the reproduced 1828 cards in the Installation deck of "Time and Space" that Jase posted to the England thread.

The cards show constellations as painted figures, with their stars in black. The suits are the German Leaves, Bells, Hearts and Acorns. Courts are a King (Konig) and 2 Knaves - an "over"(Ober) and an "under"(Unter). Aces are called Das Daus and you can see them first below, with 2 - 5 of the Leaves suit below that in the same picture. Sorry but all the scans show smallest to largest from right to left.

Astronomical deck Aces Leaves.jpg


Here are the rest of the Leaves suit.

Astronomical deck Leaves.jpg


2 through 9 of Bells.

Astronomical deck Bells.jpg


10 through King of Bells and 2 through 5 of Hearts.

Astronomical deck Bells Hearts.jpg


6 through King of Hearts.

Astronomical deck Hearts.jpg


2 through 9 of Acorns.

Astronomical deck Acorns.jpg


10 through King of Acorns, and the 2 Title Cards, along with a card back.

Astronomical deck Acorns and EC.jpg
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Re: Germany

Unread postby dazzleguts » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:15 pm  

1966 Neue Altenburger Spielkarte
DDR pattern by Walter Krauss
DDR, Deutsche Demokratische Republik = GDR, Germam Democratic Republic


This is a beautiful deck and definitely one of my faves. Each suit has its own dominant colour - Green for the Leaves (Spades), Red for the Hearts, Orange/Yellow for the Bells (Diamonds) and that wonderful Blue in the Acorns (Clubs). The deck I have has only 24 cards, courts and aces with 9s and 10s, but I believe this is usually found as a Skat deck of 32 cards, courts and aces with 7s - 10s.

Here are the Aces and Kings (Konigs)

Krauss aces konigs.jpg


There are three main versions of this pattern called: DDR #1, DDR #2 and DDR #3. Cards in all versions show German suits, and no index on the Aces.

Here are the Ober and Unter Knaves.

Krauss Ober Unter.jpg


The first DDR #1 versions of 1964/65 were not successful.
In 1966, there appeared a new edition with modified figures on the court cards, and that is the one you see here - DDR #2 - using the German court card indices of K (Konig/King), O (Ober/Over Knave), U (Unter/Under Knave).

Here are the Pips and back of card.

Krauss pips back.jpg


A third edition, DDR #3, was released in 1969 and had Queens instead of Obers. It used the German court card indices of K (Konig/King), D (Dame/Lady), B (Bube/Knave)
Walter Kraus designed all three versions.

To see all the variations of this pattern go to this excellent article written by Ulrich Knüpfer for the Alta Carta web site:

http://www.altacarta.com/english/research/germany-DDR-pattern.html
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:28 am  

A Haribo advertising Skat deck by ASS. Not sure of the date.
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IMG_0012.jpg

Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:36 am  

A 1973 reprint by Coeur called Bergmanns Spielkarte from an original set of 1840 found in the Erzgebirgsmuseum.
The Faces of the Mountainmen Playing Cards show Miners & Smelters in Ihrern Parade Uniforms as they were worn on Festive occasions, The Aces show the Coat of Arms of the four leading ore mining towns of the 15th & 16th Century Marie,Freiberg,Schreeberg & Annaberg.
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Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Sat May 02, 2015 7:25 am  

Salzburger Spielkarten ,Made by ASS OF Germany.
Acorns.jpg

The Salzberg Pattern is the Austrian version of the Bavarian pattern and contains either 36 or 32 cards, King, Ober, Unter, Deuce 10-7 or 10-6 (not sure why this pack has 40 cards). The Salzberg pattern is always single ended and bears no indices, Card no 10 in each suit is numbered with the roman numeral, whereas the rest of the cards are unnumbered.
Bells.jpg

The Kingsare all seated as in the Bavarian pattern,but, except for the King of leaves, they also have a shield beside them. The shield of the King of hearts shows an anchor, Bells shows the arms of Salzburg, Acorns shows a cupid. In the salzburg pattern the King of leaves now holds an orb in his left hand as well as a sceptre in his right.
Hearts.jpg

There are three main diffferences between the Salzburg and Bavarian patterns. In the Salzburg pattern all the Swords are curved and the Ober of Hearts is shown just beginning to draw his sword, as opposed to fully drawn. The Ober of leaves` drum is on his left side, while the Bavarian pattern the drum is on the Obers` right side.
The Deuces of Hearts, Bells and acorns are the same for both patterns. The Deuce of leaves shows a Unicorn, deer and Griffon or sometimes a Unicorn, hart and owl. The 6 of Bells , the "Welli" card is traditional in Austrian packs and shows the Bells,Acorns and Hearts suit signs.
Leaves.jpg

Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:00 pm  

DAS FLOTNER`SCHE KARTENSPIEL

Satirical Playing Cards by Peter Flotner of Nuremburg c.1540`s, Piatnik Edition No.2879
"Behind the superficial representation to which one`s attention is initially drawn, there is a second one in which Flotner sets irony and ridicule, parody and perversity against the past, against the Classical and Bougeois way of life"
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Three editions of this woodcut deck by engraver Peter Flotner survive, the first two, a handful of full or partial uncoloured imprints of sets of 36 and 48 cards respectively, as well as this one , a delicately coloured and gold highlighted set of which only 47 cards survive. The original woodcut Daus cards Have been replaced by hand-drawn ones contemporary with the colouring and the backs of the cards contain the vocal scores for many german songs.
IMG_0009.jpg

The original Daus of leaves has a banner reading "F C Z", Interpreted as Franz Christoph Zell, a Nuremburg publisher active in 1527-1543. The 3 remaining Daus cards from this coloured version all show the arms of the d`Este family, Dukes of Ferrara and Modena.
IMG_0003.jpg

Although Nuremburg had no university, towards the end of the 15th century the city became a major centre of humanism in Germany, as well as a centre of trade and skilled craftsmanship. The influence of classical forms and humanism was also mirrored by anti-classical tendancies, so that these playing cards can be seen as a parody or burlesque.
IMG_0004.jpg

The vulgar everyday activities of common folk (e.g Toilet humour and irreverencee) is juxtaposed to bourgeois pretentiousness. The art of printing made it possible for art, knowledge and information - including political or social comment - to be made accessible to the common people.
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:19 pm  

IMG_0005.jpg

Peter Flotner was a german designer,sculptor and printmaker. He was an important figure in the introduction of Italianate Renaissance design to sculpture and the decorative arts in Germany.He designed and produced work in a wide range of media but "seems to have made only a modest living", unlike many of his contemporary artists.
IMG_0006.jpg

Flotner probably trained as a goldsmith in Augsburg with Adolf Daucher. Under his masters guidance he contributed to the gold work in the Fugger Chapel. After an interlude in Italy he became a master craftsman in Ansbach. He moved to Nuremburg in 1522 and took the Burgereid "Citizen Oath",described as a sculptor. As a print maker he produced prints for other artists and artisans to follow as patterns - designs for furniture, alterpiece surrounds, or gold work, and panels of ornament, as well as book illustrations, playing cards and a decorative alphabet.
IMG_0007.jpg

He became increasingly a designer of works that were actually made by others,even in media such as gold and bronze that he was trained in himself. Reliefs, medals and similar objects were modelled in carved wood or wax,with drawings for other types of object. Small easily portable metal relief plaques and statuettes were produced in editions and, like his prints, played an important part in disseminating Italianate style across Northern Europe.
IMG_0008.jpg

Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:18 am  

Art Nouveau printed by Altenburg Straslunder (ASS No.1165) from 1984 onwards.
Box.jpg

Card Backs & Jokers.jpg

These elegant, gold-printed cards were designed by Germany`s famous artist, Otto Benz in 1984 as an advertising aid for Renault. The first edition uses German indices this later edition has english indices, There is also a Tarock version of these cards.
Spades & Hearts.jpg

Clubs & Diamonds.jpg

Unfortunately the scans do not do the cards justice as the gold ink really pops.
Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:58 am  

THE COPPERPLATE PACK OF CARDS BY VIRGIL SOLIS c.1544

The copperplate pack by Virgil Solis is one of the most valuable packs, artistically, of the 16th century in Germany. It is one of the relatively few examples where the engraver does not remain anonymous, where, in fact, we are really well informed about his life and works. This pack by no means plays a secondary role among the very extensive collected works. Rather, Virgil Solis dealt with the individual motifs of the pack very thoroughly and earnestly, the emphasized unity of conception speaks in favour of this. And also the fact that not the cheaper, and for utility articles usual wood-cut was used, as in the case of Jost Amman and Peter Flotner, but the more expensive and elegant copperplate.
IMG_0008.jpg

The liberty which the copperplate engravers and drawers of the 15th century had taken in selecting the suits has been retained by Virgil Solis by engraving Lion, Monkey, Parrot and Peacock on his pack. The Parrots sit on roses among their stems, the suit, Hearts, accordingly "red", the Peacocks are surrounded by vine shoots on which grapes hang, the suit, Spades, suitably "green": the Lions sit among scrollwork, their suit, Clubs and the Monkeys perform gymnastics an highly ingenious ornaments and on the two the time honoured letters SPQR are even inscribed. Kings and Queens are mounted, the Knave, a mercenary, is of course afoot. The animal of the corresponding suit keeps the riders and pedestrians company.
IMG_0001.jpg

Because of its magnificent colouring and beauty the parrot was counted as the animal escort of the god of love in Indian and Persian mythology. In christian symbolism this meaning is turned round into an emblem of the immaculate conception, although the original meaning obviously did not fall into oblivion. The sybolic meaning may be of no importance for the playing cards but the artistic presentation is.
The Parrot already occurs in 1463 in the pack of cards by Master E.S s a suit, as an animal among other animals, though, In contrast Mster PW discovers the parrot to be a motif of variety, full of charm and flexibility, yet included in an ornamental composition. Virgil Solis certainly knew this pack. His parrot three still appears to be based on the round format of the cards by Master PW. On the other cards Virgil Solis does preserve a certain symmetry but is very loose in that he shows the Parrots in varying movements and contortions.
IMG_0002.jpg

The elegant Peacock stimulated to no lesser degree than the Parrot the phantasy of the story-teller. According to ancient saga Hera put the hundred eyes of the guard, Argus, Killed by Mercury onto the tail feathers of the Peacock. In early christian art the Peacock was a symbol of immortality and was represented in conjunction with vine stems- as shown here-. The Peacock first became a symbol of vanity in the late gothic and renaissance period.
Virgil Solis was also able to find models in the graphic arts from Master E.S and Albrecht Durer. Depending on the space on the card the peacock spreads its plumage into a magnificent fan or leaves it folded, whereby Virgil Solis does not shrink from overlapping the edge of the picture. The stems sprouting symmetrically from a root stock or antique vases adapt themselves to the flowing lines of the birds bodies.
IMG_0003.jpg
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:37 am  

The Lion has been a symbol for power and strenght since the ancient orient. It has remained so up to the present day in art and literature. We meet him as gate-keeper, Heraldic animal, Fabulous creature throughout the centuries. He was the constant companion of Mark the Evangelist and St. Hieronymus until in the 16th century he became of interest to artists and simply an object of study, without any background.
Virgil Solis, therefore, did not have to search far in this case either. They were to be found in Master E.S., not only as secondary figures in holy scenes, but also among his playing cards. Several studies of lions obviously drawn from the living object by Durer are preserved. The Lions of Virgil Solis have nothing commanding respect or power, they are rather friendly and playful. In individual cases they still have heraldic symmetry and their intergration into the scrollwork is a proof of skill in design and experience in ornamental engraving.
IMG_0004.jpg

Of all the suits in this pack, however, it was the Monkeys which captured the greatest attention and were copied the most. Pleasure in the grotesque can really be unfolded in this theme. The Monkey which is the closest of all animals to mankind in historical development and whose imitative instinct is proverbial was used by fabulists and satirists constantly as a distorting mirror of man. In mediaeval art the monkey on capitals, gargoyles and misericords embodied evil, the devilish, now and then, however, it also appears here as a parody, for example, on the clergy.
Virgil Solis varied the motif towards the stylistic and the humourous but he did not discover it. Durer appears to have been a stimulus, Especially the monkey which bends down from the tree in the marginal drawings for Emperor Maximilian`s prayer book is repeated on the Monkey five at the top. Durers pen and ink drawing "Monkey Dance" might not be without influence also.
IMG_0005.jpg

The form of the King, Queen and Knave is similar in all suits. The Kings and Queens each in the saddle, the horse, seen approaching in profile, trotting or about to jump. The Mercenaries (afoot) carry various cutting and thrusting weapons and fire-arms. In each case the figure controls and fills the picture in front of a low-lying horizon. As a motif this is nothing new, artistically the cards are of uniform type. The predilection for opposite directions and diagonals is striking and especially stressed by the long weapons and sceptres. The pictures become diversified in details as a result of the fashionable finesse which includes even the horses.
IMG_0006.jpg

A piece of contemporary history is reflected cultural-historically in these playing cards.The re-feudalization which finds visual expression in the dress fashions is also expressed in the endeavour to achieve a beauty of line in the ornamental sense, which ia a reminder of the gothic. Whoever has an eye for the curvatures and refractions, for the flowing curves and arcs, in short for that which constitutes the appeal of graphic structures, will look at the cards of this pack with delight and pleasure. Moreover, the vividness of a new feeling for life and appreciation of the world makes itself felt and it is this which causes the greatest sensation and haas been imitated the moest.
IMG_0007.jpg


Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Sparkz » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:00 pm  

All I know is my "Look into" list of European decks keeps growing, there are some absolutely beautiful decks out there.
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:52 am  

LUXUS SKATKARTEN printed by FX SCHMID dated 1977
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This is a facsimile of a pack of cards originally designed by Emil Doepler der Jungere (1855-1922) first printed by Wezel & Naumann and published by T.O Weigel of Leipzig in 1860. The original cards of 1860 were part of the "Shrine of Games" a gift to the crown prince Friedrich Wilhelm (later King Frederick III) and his wife Victoria for their Silver Wedding Anniversary. FX Schmid also produced a version with Indices.
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Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:24 am  

A PACK OF CARDS by MASTER PW c.1500 printed by Edition Leipzig in 1974
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In the late fifteenth or possibly very early sixteenth century, a Colognian master known only by the monogram "PW" created a unique deck of five-suited circular copperplate-engraved playing cards. As in several other early luxury decks, each suit contains 14 cards - besides a full set of pip cards from 1 to 10, a Queen supplements the conventional German court cards Unter, Ober and King. With Five such suits and two additional cards with unknown functions, the total number of cards end up at an impressive 72.
IMG_0001.jpg

While imprints of all cards survive no single collection holds a complete set. The collection closest to achieving this is "Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bolognia" which with 69 cards lacks only three.These are uncoloured, and in several cards the enclosing double circle is wholly or partially cut away.Second is the "Kupferstich-Kabinett" in Dresden, which has a very deliberate selection. Through the removal of the entire suit of Carnations and the Unter rank, the deck is reduced to a standard 52 card deck with French courts. Apart from this, only the eight of Hres is missing while one of the two extra cards is retained.The magority of the cards are at least partially coloured,and each card is defaced with a stamp.
IMG_0003.jpg

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This 1974 replica by Edition Leipzig is based on the Dresden "Kupferstitch-Kabinett" collection. The missing title card,8 of Hares, Unter cards and the suit of roses is primarilly supplied from the "Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna" collection.The two exceptions are the coloured Unter of Hares from the "British Museum" and the 5 of Carnations from the "Graphische Sammlung Albertina" in Vienna.
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:49 am  

The five suits are Parrots, Hares, Carnations, Columbines and Roses. In the court cards, the suit symbols do not relate to the court figures or the background scenery. But are simply placed in the largest otherwise empty part of the designs. The only exception to this is the Unter of Hares where the hare indicating the suit sits on a hill in the background.
In three of the suits, all four court cards are walking or riding to the right, while in the Hares and Columbines, they are moving leftwards. This is neither coincidental nor done for purely aestethic purposes, but rather indicates that the latter two suits were "weak": meaning that the pip cards were ranked backwards from 10 as the lowest and 1 as the highest card - a common feature in old playing cards. For each suit, the persons on the court cards belong to a particular nationality or ethnicity, shown by facial characteristics, costumes and weaponry.
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Parrots courts are clearly Moors. Both Unter and Ober carry long-handled flails with short chains and spiked balls, as well as sheathed curved scimitars. The King brandishes a sceptre like all other kings, and has a sheathed straight sword. He has spurs on his boots and wears a twisted cloth headband. Unlike the headgear of the other kings, this does not signify rank, as the Unter wears an identical one.
Hare courts are equally clearly Turks. The Unter carries a bow and arrows, while the Ober has a broad-headed fletched javelin. Both of them, as well as the King have very slightly curved sheathed scimitars. The King wears an elaborate turban.
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The three remaining suits are all European, and therefore more similar to each other. All but one of the Unters and Obers carry straight sheathed swords, While all three Kings are unarmed and wear circlet crowns. This similarity makes it more difficult to attribute a nationality to each than to identify the two non-european ones.
However it is pretty certain that Carnations represent Germans. Here, the Unter and Ober carry Halberds, Three scrolls with text adorn the Kings horse: teo of them reads "Ich Wagerte", older German for "I improve". This text coupled with the halberds popularity among German Landsknechts are the main reasons for assuming that this suit represents Germans.
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:20 am  

Columbines is perhaps the suit that is hardest to assign a nationality to. Spanish seems probable, but Portuguese is not out of the question either. The Unter and Ober carry spears, and the Queen rides a Donkey rather than a horse.
Finally Roses are probably Englishmen, the rose was at this time already well established as a heraldic emblem of the English crown. The Unter carries a crossbow, and is the only Unter of Ober without a sword. The Ober the longbow that the English were famous for. The Queen has a hunting Falcon on her left hand, all other queens are empty handed.
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The pip cards from 2 to 9 have arabic numerals at the top and Roman numerals at the bottom of the card. In the suit of Carnations, the Arabic figures 2 & 3 are mirrored: this might indicate that this was the first suit to be engraved. The 10`s have Roman numerals only, placed below or to the right of the central suit sign. There is otherwise no special treatment of the tens, they simply have the suit symbol repeated ten times. The ones (aces) have numerals only at the bottom, presumably Roman,though roman and arabic are indistinguishable in this case. The tops of the cards are covered by long scrolls bearing latin mottos:
Roses - Pepvlit vires casvs animo qvi tvlit aeqvo (He defeats the power of chance who endures with equanimity)
Columbines - Par ille svperis cvi pariter dies et fortvna fvit (He is equal to the celestiala who equally received time and fortune)
Carnations - Fortvna opes avferre non animvm potest (Fortune can take away wealth but not fortitude)
Parrots - Qvicqvid facimvs venit ex alto (Whatever we do, it comes from aloft
Hares - Felix mediae qvisqvis tvrbae parte qvietvs (He is happy who is quiet in the middle of turmoil)
IMG_0012.jpg

IMG_0013.jpg

This set of card differs from all others of the time as it includes a title card and a concluding card. the title card consists of the three crowns of the coat of arms of Cologne, the crowns of the three wise men, decorated and accompanied with the text "Salve felix Colonia"(Hail, happy Cologne).If nothing else but this card had survived, there would be no means of knowing that it was the title card of a pack of cards.
The concluding card (memento mori) is also not to be found in any other pack of cards. the picture here suggests the transitory nature of all things. Death, a skeleton clad in a shroud, snatches at a naked woman,an hour-glass shows that her time is up.There is no text on the scroll.


Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Bruno » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:56 pm  

Well.
How good are these, unique ex descriptio .... ?
You're not the everyday Diamond, Jase.
O, I beg of you your comprehensions,
yet laugh at your contempts ....
my only competition is with myselves.

But Lèse-majesté, especially >Normans, natch.

Is jarnstill the Ars of the Hors Nebulous ?
Neigh .... the Effluxor of the Omniverse ??
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:23 am  

No. 174 Whist "Schweizer Trachten" or "Costumes Suisse" printed by Bernhard Dondorf.
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After serving his apprenticeship at C. Naumann printers, Bernard J. Dondorf opened a lithographic printing business in 1833. In the early days Dondorf traded in every kind of accessory for the printing industry including printing presses, machines for stone engraving, inks and paper. Always on the lookout for innovations in the graphic arts industry, and with the rise of chromolithography, Herr Dondorf was in a position to enter the playing card business.
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Playing cards were first mentioned in advertisements in 1839. His first packs were produced in the 1840`s by steel engraving and stencil-coloured lithography. In 1853 he purchased a steam engine and gradually increased his output of playing cards under the name of "Bernhard Dondorf, Frankfurt a. M". In 1872 Bernard Dondorf retired leaving the business in the hands of his sons who continued to expand the business and build new factories.
IMG_0004.jpg

The Luxury playing card factory founded by Bernhard Dondorf in 1833 lasted for 100 years and was a particular attractive chapter in playing card history. Dondorf`s chromolithographic cards are especially admired amongst antique and vintage card collectors owing to the exceptional high standards of design and craftmanship in their production.
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A wonderful account posted by Dazzelguts, of the demise of the Dondorf factory can be found in the article section titled "The Deck That Broke A Card Factory`s Back".
Thanks for looking at my cards :D -jase-
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:49 am  

Das Kartenspiel Des Oberdeutschen Stechers printed in 1977 by Edition Leipzig.
A 52 card facsimilie of an 16th century copper-engraved pack by an unknown South German Engraver.the cards have plain white backs and each card measures 71mm x 130mm approx.

About 1875 Max Lehrs, truly the best connoisseur of German graphic arts, was searching in the Gersdorf Library at the Baruth Castle near Bautzen for a rare pack of Late Gothic engraved playing cards. In this undertaking he could rely on a note of Carl Heinrich von Heinecken dating from 1776 and on the description of this pack of cards of Johann Gottlieb Immanuel Breitkopf published eight years later. However, Lehrs` efforts were fruitless, and the Baruth cards have remained undiscovered to this day.
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Around the same time the Aulic Privy Councillor Ruland chanced upon an unexpected find in the Grand Ducal Library in Weimar. While rummaging in a forgotten wardrobe he came upon 49 of those precious cards, enclosed in some old paper, together with nine copies of the engravings, carefully executed proof prints from Breitkopf`s workshop. In Weimar nothing was known about the origin of these cards, had it perhaps been the pack from Baruth Castle, having come to Weimar by chance? The Strange thing about the matter is, however, that printed copies and even proof prints of the cards provided for reproduction by Breitkopf had been found together with this specimen, which has never been mentioned so far, whereas Breitkopf`s cards were not to be found again.
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Thus while Lehrs was searching in vain for a specimen of the pack of cards whose existence was proved by literature, another specimen hitherto unknown was accidentally found in Weimar. It is this Weimaar pack that is the basis of the present facsimilie edition.
Apart from the pack kept at Weimar there are still but a few further specimen of these playing cards known to exist, and it can be said that they have always been attended by special circumstances. Like hardly any other playing cards these were always treated with particular minuteness by research in the history of art starting in the 18th century and throughout the 19th century.
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In 1776, the same year in which von Heinecken published a preliminary note about the now missing Baruth pack of cards, Christoph Gottlieb von Murr described a specimen of the pack of cards which he had seen in the cabinet of the Nuremberg collector Dr. Silberrad. Von Murr was also the first to reproduce one card, namely as a wood-engraving. This pack got into the collection of the Viennese banker Moritz von Fries where Adam von Bartsch had an opportunity to study it. He catalogued a number of cards in his "Peintre-Graveur" in 1808. After the economic collapse of the Fries Firm around 1820 the 47 cards got to London, where William Young Ottley had a chance of seeing them. On This occasion he had a facsimilie made of them. From Woodburn the engravings passed over to Smith, an art dealer, from whom they were finally acquired by the British Museum.
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Consequently, with the exception of the descriptions by von Heinecken and Breitkopf, all scientific statements on the cards before Lehrs refer to one and the same specimen, i.e. the one now kept in London.
In 1888, soon after the discovery of the Weimar cards, Max Lehrs succeeded in finding another specimen of our pack, complete but for a single card, in the Raccolta Benedetto Lambertini, the collection of copper-plate engravings assembled by Pope Benedict XIV, and in 1910 John Bottiger published a fourth pack, equally complete but for one card, which belongs to Gustav Adolf`s art cabinet called "Hainhofer Cabinet" in Upsala.
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:19 am  

Already so select safe-keeping places as art-cabinets testify to the high rank ascribed to playing cards by the princely collectors. In such treasuries playing cards were to be found beside jewels, curiosities, relics and frak natural objects in the midst of a wellnigh encyclopaedic multiplicity. It is to this particular esteem enjoyed by precious playing cards in the 16th and early 17th century that we owe the preservation of so many valuables. For in this way a great deal of that which came down to us from the princely treasuries of the late middle ages passed into the curiosity cabinets of both aristocratic and big bourgeois connoisseurs.
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At an Astonishing early date the inventories of the most significant treasuries and curiosity chambers of the Renaissance allow us to stike a first balance of what has been preserved. Thus as early as 1594, in the estate inventory of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol, there emerges not only the "Ambraser Hofjagdspiel", depicting hunting scenes, but also the "Hofamterspiel" representing court dignitaries which is unjustly much less known. In 1598 the inventory list of the Duke of Bavaria`s art cabinet notes down the "Stuttgarten Spiel" which was later to pass over into the treasury of the Duke of Wurttemberg.
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O course it was predominantly the luxuriously designed packs that were being collected, the "Prunkspiele" (Show Packs) which arose ever since playing cards have been known by the side and in contrast to the cheap everyday playing cards destined for the large circle of customers. What has come down to us are the precious cards made less for use and more to please the eye of the well-to-do public ; but also simple everyday cards, which were as a rule thrown away when they became well-thumbed.
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Yet being interested in preserving old collection pieces was not the end of the matter. Rather this inclination seems to have also influenced the manifold production of unique artistic playing cards as can be noted in Nuremberg since the second quarter of the 16th century.
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Re: Germany

Unread postby Jock1971 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:39 am  

The playing cards of men like Hans Sebald Beham, Erhard Schon, Hans Leonhard Schaufelein, Virgil Solis, Peter Flotner and Lambrecht Hopfer, and last but not least, Jost Amman`s "Charta Lusoria" of 1588 fulfilled such requirements on the highest level of art and craftsmanship and thus carried on a tradition as founded already by their forerunners such as the round cards of Master PW or our own copper-engraved cards.
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Beside the four specimens of our nearly complete pack preserved in Bolognia, Upsala, London and Weimar only few individual cards have come down. Even in the large collections of graphic art these engraved cards are rare. The Graphic Art Collection Albertina in Vienna holds seventeen of them, there are two in the collection of Veste Coburg, and one card each is in the possession of the Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museem, Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz Berlin (west) and that of the Staedelsche Institut in Frankfort-on-the-main.
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About 1480 to 1490, the medium of the copper-plate engraving was still young, only just fifty years old an Schongauer`s artistic and technical innovations must have had a sensational effect on artists who were using it at the time.
Martin Schongauer`s contemporaries were fascinated to see how imaginative ideas could be realized by means of carefully drawn individual lines, flexible hatchings, clear form-describing parallel bands of lines strengthened in the depths through cross-hatchings dissolving into points towards the light, how autonomous works of art arose from black and white. This is the only way to explain the fact that his technical innovations were common property within the shortest time, and that a whole number of copyists could make a living from the reproduction of his engravings.
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The engraver of our cards was not able to escape this influence, either. The Overwhelming impact of his ideal finds its expression not only in the borrowing of motifs to which reference has been made but also in the technique of copper-plate engraving. In so doing, our engraver could not act quite freely while choosing his card pictures since he - as has been proved by subsequent research - was actually using old models. Of course, he did so with a certain abandon ; not only did he liberally alter or skilfully simplify certain details - let us think of the blossom tendrils of the Queen of denari on the Berlin sheet and the Queen of pomegrnates of our own pack ; far from any slavish imitation he evidently took even greater liberties. His figures from Martin Schongauer`s engravings was obviously associated with an endeavour to give these old card pictures a new lustre, to modernize them in both execution and appearance.
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When Max Lehrs describes the maker of our cards as "not very skillful an engraver with little inventive talent", then his judgement is obviously based rather on the viewpoint of the "peintre-graveur", of the painter-engraver working according to his own imaginative ideas in the sense of Schongauer or Durer. Admittedly, with so many repetitions of other peoples models one can hardly speak of a particular wealth of invention : Yet the man handles the graving tool with real skill, and he sketches his little figures and signs with a not inconsiderable certainty and lightness. Moreover, the artistic handwriting in which this occurs is a thouroughly characteristic one. All the more to be wondered at is the fact that so far no other specimen of the work by the engraver of these playing cards are known. In spite of the borrowings from the engravings of Martin Schongauer the artist cannot be summarily classed with the group of theSchongauer copyists. Nor are the borrowings any help in localizing him ; for this the prints of the colmar artist were simply too well-known.
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