Extremely beautiful set of cards made by Wezel & Naumann c.1885, and published by T.O. Weigel, featuring the handsome designs of Ludwig Burger. The deck is described by Peter Endebrock at his website:
“These cards were printed c. 1885 by Wezel & Naumann, Leipzig, and published by T. O. Weigel in Leipzig. The name of the publisher is on the Deuce of Acorns, that of the printer on the Deuce of Bells.
“The cards were designed by Ludwig Burger, his name is also on the Deuce of Acorns. The pack was originally made for a games collection presented to the German Crown-Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm (the later Friedrich III), and his wife Victoria on the occasion of their silver wedding anniversary. It was the companion pack to the Französische Spiel-Karte.
“The illustrations in the different suits symbolize
“Acorns: the art of warfare
Bells: crafts, industry, and commerce
“The back was designed by Ad. M. Hildebrandt. It was later copyrighted (without the shield and eagle in the middle) and used for a lot of other packs.
“A different version of the pack has Roman numerals as index signs on some of the pip cards, and there are also later editions by Altenburger Spielkartenfabriken Schneider & Co. and by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken.”
The cards are dated 1885 by Endebrock and at the World Web Playing Card Museum, and I have adopted that date. However, I note that the artist, Ludwig Burger, died in 1884. Obviously, it is possible that the cards were made in that year, but given with the game box to German Crown-Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm in 1885. Or, perhaps the plates were made when Burger lived, but the cards were made after his death.
The deck is complete at 36 cards, with three male court cards (K, O, U), the Daus card, and five pip cards (6-10) in each suit. The cards are large and wide, measuring 100mm x 64mm, with gold gilt around. There is no box.
The cards are in superb condition, “as new” or very nearly so, with almost all gold gilt intact.
Reference: Peter Endebrock website; World of Playing Cards website; World Web Playing Card Museum (WWPCM #00237). In Fournier, there is a later edition of these cards by Altenburger, Spielkarten, Schneider & Co. (Germanic Countries 170), and the Keller catalogue of the Cary Collection describes a later edition with 32 cards (Germany, 598).
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