Superb set of rare and extremely beautiful cards made by Dondorf, No. 301, featuring designs with a hunting theme that are sometimes called Dondorf’s “German” cards, because the box reads “Deutsche Spielkarten No. 301." At his website, Peter Endebrock points out that the original edition from 1868 were the first German-suited cards produced by Dondorf in Frankfurt/Main. The deck has a tax stamp that dates it to the period 1879-1888, and so I have dated it to the approximate mid-point of that range. There is a similar set in the Cary Collection that Keller dates c.1890,, and perhaps that is the correct date for this deck. However, on balance, I have elected to date this set within the inclusive years of the tax stamp period.
The deck is complete at 36 cards (Daus, 6-10, Unter, Ober, Konig), and as noted the cards have square corners and square borders. The cards are large, measuring 97mm x 59mm. They come in the original box.
The cards are in remarkable condition, “as new” or very nearly so. The box is in no better than good condition, relatively clean, but with one side separated and other signs of wear. It is possible that the box can be glued, but I have not attempted it.
Reference: Keller, The Cary Collection of Playing Cards, Ger 508.
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