Very good complete set of cards made by J.O. Oberg & Son for the traditional Swedish card game “Cambio.” “Cambio” (also “Campio,” “Camfio,” etc.) is a close relative of the Danish card game “Gnav” and the Italian card game “Cuccù,” and would later come to be known more generally as “Kille.” Oberg made a “Kille” deck for many years, beginning in the late 19th century and continuing well into the 20th century. One of the “1” cards has a Swedish tax stamp that was used for many, many years, but which was last used in 1960. The cards have a finish that suggests to me that they date in the mid-20th century, and so I have dated them to the 1950s, but it is possible that they date earlier.
The World of Playing Cards website has this brief description of the game’s history:
“The game originated in 17th century Italy as Cuccu (‘cuckoo’) with a deck of 38 cards. As the game migrated north through Europe in the 18th century the number of cards and the name of the game changed. The game is first mentioned in Sweden in 1741 as Cambio (Italian for ‘exchange’). In 1833 this became ‘Kille’ which became the common form of the game around 1850.”
And the Pagat website has this description of the deck and play of the game:
“The Kille deck is a 42-card deck, without suits, but with two of each of the 21 ranks, which from high to low are Harlekin (joker), Kuku (cuckoo), Husar (hussar), Husu (pig), Kavall (horse), Värdshus (inn), 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Kransen (wreath), Blompottan (flowerpot), Blaren (face).
“Each player is dealt 5 cards and tricks are played. Any card can be led, and subsequent players must either equal or beat the highest card so far played to the trick or play the lowest card in their hand. The object is to have the lowest card after four tricks have been played.”
The deck listed here is complete with 42 cards, 2 each of the 21 different values noted above. As is typical of Kille decks, the coloration is monochromatic – all cards the same beige or light brown tone. The cards are slightly wide by modern standards, measuring 90mm x 61mm, and come in the original Oberg box.
The cards are in very good lightly used condition. They have edge wear and minor soiling but have no major issues. The box is in fair condition. If it once had a top flap, that flap is missing, and it has tears and general wear. On the positive side, the image of the Oberg factory on the front of the box is still distinct as is most of the other art work on the box.
There is also a set of these cards for sale in this shop that are believed to date c.1917 or earlier (see, T00004852)
Reference: Fournier, Playing Cards, Sweden 4
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J.O. Oberg & Son “Prima Camfio Kort No. 386” -- Kille-Type Playing Cards, c.1950s