Wonderful deck made by Ets. Mesmaekers Freres, S.A. of Turnhout c.1935 for Rotterdam cigarette maker, Louis Dobbelmann, N.V. The backs show the famous illustration made by Kees Meyes in a Dobbelmann ad campaign of the 1930s, “Dobbelmann Lekker . . . Man” (“Dobbelmann Nice . . . Man”). It has scenic aces in black and white showing scenes of the Netherlands – 2 scenes per Ace. The court cards are a pattern very similar, but not identical, to the famous Dondorf Rhineland pattern. Mesmaekers Freres made a deck with the Rhineland pattern, also very similar to the Dondorf pattern, but it is slightly different than the courts of this deck. The Cary Collection has this deck, but again, the courts of the Cary deck are slightly different than the courts of this deck, and the Aces of this deck depict different scenes than those on the Aces of the Cary deck.
The deck has 52 suited cards, plus a bridge scoring card, but it is missing its Joker. The cards are bridge size, measuring 88mm x 58mm, with gold gilt at the corners, and they come in the original box.
The cards are in excellent lightly used condition, with modest wear at the edges; the gilt on the corners has largely worn away. The box is missing its top flap, but otherwise in very good condition.
Reference: Keller, The Cary Collection of Playing Cards, BEL 28
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