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Double Deck ASS “Royal Gothic” Playing Cards, Dondorf Centennial, c.1975
Superb double deck of "Royal Gothic" cards made by ASS, c.1975. The court cards are a 20th century reprint of the famous Dondorf Centennial cards.
The Dondorf Centennial deck is famous for its beauty and cost. It is said to have contributed to Dondorf's demise. In an article that first appeared in Hobbies magazine in 1960, Fred Taylor reported the following:
"The Dondorf firm was founded in 1833, and in the 100 years of its existence produced possibly the finest playing cards ever manufactured. Any collector who has Dondorf cards in his or her collection can attest to their beauty and infinite variety.On the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the firm in 1933, it was decided to mark the centennial by issuing a special deck to be presented as a souvenir honoring guests attending the ceremonies. These decks were not offered for sale on the German or any other market. The project was so lavish, the printing so complicated, and the costs so exorbitant, the firm never recovered. Instead it was forced into bankruptcy and was acquired by the Altenburger-Stralsunder Playing Card co. of Altenburg, Thuringia, now of Stuttgart, West Germany. Some 16 separate color printings were required for the court-cards, and 12 color printings for the backs of this unusual deck. A total of 28 separate color printings."
Each deck has 52 cards, plus 3 Jokers. The cards are slightly large bridge size, measuring 91mm x 59mm, and come in the original box.
The cards are and box are “as new,” except that the lid of the box has very slight shelf wear at the four corners.
Reference: Fournier, Playing Cards, Germanic Countries 258 (description erroneous)
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