Double Deck Osborne Kemper Thomas (USPC?) “Donte’s” Playing Cards, “Crown OKT” Brand, Donte’s Jazz Club, c.1973Double Deck Osborne Kemper Thomas (USPC?) “Donte’s” Playing Cards, “Crown OKT” Brand, Donte’s Jazz Club, c.1973Double Deck Osborne Kemper Thomas (USPC?) “Donte’s” Playing Cards, “Crown OKT” Brand, Donte’s Jazz Club, c.1973Double Deck Osborne Kemper Thomas (USPC?) “Donte’s” Playing Cards, “Crown OKT” Brand, Donte’s Jazz Club, c.1973Double Deck Osborne Kemper Thomas (USPC?) “Donte’s” Playing Cards, “Crown OKT” Brand, Donte’s Jazz Club, c.1973

Frequently misspelled "Dante's," for many years "Donte's" was one of the premiere jazz venues in Los Angeles. This description of the club appears on the internet:

"In the '60s, '70s and early '80s, when jazz was still in its heyday, there was no better place to go, or to play, than Donte's on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. Donte's, located on a piece of real estate that is now the home of Century West BMW, was host to such legends as Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Louie Belson, Joe Pass, Carmen McRae and Larry Carlton.

"Celebrities like Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra hung out there along with the locals. Studio musicians would stop by after recording their albums or TV shows to listen or `sit in.' One of our local greats—sax player, arranger and composer Don Menza, who played with Rich, Belson, Kenton and Maynard Ferguson—used to perform there with his big band.

"`It was a great scene,' said Menza, `like a hangout, or clubhouse for musicians. We loved going there, playing, and listening.'

`It was the hottest jazz club around,' recalled Studio City resident and sax player Bernie Fleischer, a former president of the Los Angeles Musicians Union who played alongside Les Brown, the Baja Marimba Band, Benny Goodman and Super Sax."

This mint double deck of "Donte's" cards was published by Osborne-Kemper-Thomas, formally known as Kemper Thomas. OKT was located in Cincinnati (Norwood) and it is possible that the cards were made by USPC. I have dated the cards to 1973, because that is the date given to the OKT brand by the World Web Playing Card Museum, but Osborne merged with Kemper Thomas 20 years earlier, and I think that the WWPCM may have the history wrong.

Each deck has 52 cards, plus 2 Jokers. The cards are bridge size, measuring 90mm x 58mm, and come in the original box. The problem I have with the idea that these cards were made by USPC is that the colors in the designs of the court cards are unlike any I have seen before, whether on USPC cards or otherwise.

One deck is mint and sealed in its wrapper. The other was removed from its wrapper to be inspected and photographed for this listing. The box is in excellent condition, with minor shelf wear on both sides.

Thanks for visiting.

Item ID: T00002609

Double Deck Osborne Kemper Thomas (USPC?) “Donte’s” Playing Cards, “Crown OKT” Brand, Donte’s Jazz Club, c.1973

$35 USD


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