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Frommann & Bunte Transformation Playing Cards, c.1860
Excellent, complete deck of the famous transformation cards published by Frommann & Bunte, c.1860. The designs are printed in brown ink, thought to be the earliest of the editions of this deck published, with the letters M and F appearing inside the outer pips of the 8 of Diamonds. This deck has 19 designs in common with the Braun & Schneider sheets published in Germany in or about 1850, 23 designs in common with the Jeanne l'Hachette deck published by Grimaud in or about 1870, and 10 cards that are unique to it. It is my understanding that this deck was published approximately ten years before the Jeanne l'Hachette deck, and Fournier dates them in that order, but there is language in Field suggesting an opposite ordering. The cards measure 90mm x 65mm; there is no box.
When the cards came to me, they were slightly "bowed" from side to side. However, tor two years they were in a card press, and a couple of years ago, I have removed them to use the press for other cards that need straightening. They continue to lie completely flat and I believe it is very unlikely that they will return to their previous condition. The accompanying pictures show them pressed. With this condition corrected, the cards are in excellent condition, with the chromolithography very bright and clear.
References: Fournier, Playing Cards, Germanic Countries, 108-109; Field, Transformation Playing Cards, p.92, #35
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