Excellent deck of the patience size variant of Dondorf’s beautiful "Schweitzer Trachten" (“Swiss Costumes”) cards, Dondorf No. 189. The Schweitzer Trachten cards feature original designs on the court cards that are not of royalty, but rather depict persons from all walks of life in traditional Swiss clothing. The courts are double ended in the sense that each end has a different illustration; the two ends of each court card are not mirror images of each other. The Aces depict scenes of Switzerland and again each end of each Ace is a different scene. The Jack of Clubs has “Dondorf GmbH” and so the cards were made in 1906 or later. I have dated them c.1910 based upon the feel of the cards, but they could date to any year between 1906 and 1933. There is no tax stamp.
The deck has 52 suited cards; I am not sure whether it ever had a Joker, but there is none in the deck now. The cards are “standard” patience size, measuring 65mm x 43mm, with gold gilt at the corners; there are twin decks of the “large” patience size decks of these cards, Dondorf No. 190, also for sale in this shop (T00004711). The deck comes in the original box.
The cards are in excellent lightly used condition, obviously handled but otherwise without issues; all of the gold gilt appears to be intact. The box is in fair condition, with a crease on the back panel, and general wear and soiling; the back panel is “pulling away” from the box.
Finally, there is also an older, full size deck of these cards, Dondorf No. 174, for sale in this shop (T00002748), and another Dondorf No. 189 (T00004258).
Reference: Fournier, Playing Cards, Germanic Countries 230.
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