Rare and mysterious “Courtette” card wheel that seems clearly to have been made by Universal Playing Card Co., the U.K. playing card maker, c.1930-1935. I say it is mysterious, because I have been unable to find any reference or description anywhere on the internet or in literature available to me to a game called Courtette, and I don’t know what this wheel was/is used for. The word Courtette seems to be a compression of the words court (i.e., as in court cards?) and roulette. The wheel has 17 cards painted onto it – the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack in all 4 suits, and a Joker – and these cards are standard Universal cards, designs unique to that maker. The Ace of Spades is one that was used by Universal during the years 1930-1935, and the other cards were used during periods inclusive of those years; accordingly, I have dated the cards to those years.
The wheel is made of wood, approximately 7” in diameter, and it is attached to a wood base that is approximately 9” square. The wheel spins – like a roulette wheel – and there is a metal pointer. The wheel is attached to the base with a metal knob. I do not know if the knob unscrews (I have not attempted it).
The wheel is in excellent condition – very clean, with the painted playing cards still very bright and vibrant. I assume there were instructions for “Courtette” that came with the wheel – and perhaps other game pieces – but, as noted above, I have been unable to learn anything about it.
Reference: Lodge, The Standard English Pattern, pp.41, at U1, and 43, at 3.
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