Superb deck of "William Tell" cards made by Obchodni Tiskarny n.p. Kolin. My understanding is that this precise name of the OTK entity was in existence from 1950 to 1988, and I have dated the deck accordingly. My guess from the look and feel of the cards is that they date to the 1960s, but I don't know. The OTK symbol on the 7 of Bells also says: "PRAHA 3" For those more knowledgeable about dating Czech playing cards, this may provide a clue. There is a close-up of the writing on the box that may also provide a clue to those conversant with the language.
A William Tell deck has German suits (bells, leaves, hearts, acorns), the "aces" depict the four seasons, and the ober and under cards are characters from Schiller's play based upon the 15th century legend of Wilhelm Tell, who is supposed to have led the Swiss resistance against Austrian domination. Playing cards with these characters became popular around the time of the European Revolutions of 1848, probably because of parallels with the uprisings against the Habsburg Empire. Ironically, though William Tell is revered in Switzerland, the cards are unknown there, and are used mainly in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania.
The deck is complete at 32 cards, with the usual William Tell suits (bells, leaves, hearts, acorns) and cards (Ace, 7-10, Under, Ober, King). The cards are large, 98mm x 60mm, and come in the original box.
The cards are "as new." The box is also in superb condition, except that one of the top side flaps is missing.
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