Exceptional set of cards made by United States Playing Card Co. and published by the South African Railways and Harbours Publicity Department c.1905, titled "Souvenir Playing Cards of South Africa," in the original box.
There are 52 cards, plus a Joker, and a backed blank card, with each card but the blank card containing an oval photograph depicting a South African scene. The backs show a statue of Cape Town's founder Johan Van Riebeek, a statue that stands today on Heerengracht Street in Cape Town. In addition, there is a pamphlet describing the scenes shown on the cards. The cards are wide, measuring 89mm x 63mm, with gold gilt around, and come in the original box.
The cards are in excellent condition, lightly used, if at all, with the gold gilt almost entirely intact. The pamphlet is in very good condition, lightly soiled but without serious tears, etc. The telescope box is in no better than good condition. The inner box is fine, but the top of the outer box is not secure and threatens to come off completely, there is a tear at one edge running up from the bottom for about 2", and there are signs of age and wear to the outer box in a number of places.
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