Extemely beautiful early deck of cards made by Van Genechten, its “No.100” brand, with double ended scenic Aces of Belgium and with Dutch pattern courts. The courts are a bit unusual because there are landscape backgrounds on each court card. This pattern with landscape backgrounds for the court cards is discussed on Pattern Sheet 76 of the International Playing Card Society:
“In Playing-Card World No.29, it was suggested that the final pattern emerged from a design of c.1904 called "Cartes Royales 0.32" by Brepols & Dierckx Zoon which had slightly different Queens and scenic backgrounds to the courts, rather reminiscent of Daveluy’s luxury "Moyen Age" designs (cf. Fournier #15). In fact, in addition to Van Genechten’s standard version of the ‘Dutch’ pattern, which he called "Impériales", he also made a ‘luxury’ version with similar scenic backgrounds called "Impériales chromo A" with a wrapper that bore the contradictory name "Cartes Royales".
I do not believe that these landscape backgrounds survived for very long, and the Dutch pattern decks of the last 75 years do not seem to have them. In addition, this deck has the Van Genehten “ice skater” joker, and according to the World Web Playing Card Museum website, this joker was used by Van Genechten starting in 1889. [This precise deck is shown (but not necessarily dated) at the WWPCM website (WWPCM #01179/01)]. On balance, I have dated the cards c.1910, and believe that it is pretty close.
The cards have beautiful backs and a wonderful old box. The deck has 52 suited cards, plus the “ice skater” Joker noted. The cards are large, measuring 92mm x 60mm, with gold gilt at the corners, and as noted, come in the original box.
The cards are “as new,” with all gold gilt intact and the backs vibrant. The box is in good, perhaps very good, condition with light soiling, some shelf wear, and a tear developing on the back.
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