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127 Articles

Barney Townshend

Member since October 06, 2015

Retired Airline Pilot, interested in: Transformation Playing Cards, Karl Gerich and Elaine Lewis. Secretary of the EPCS. Treasurer of the IPCS.

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Luxuskarte No.75

Stylistically, the deck fits easily into the Dondorf “luxury card” group. The deck has been produced for the Danish firm Adolph Wulff of Copenhagen, also for F. Tilgmann in Helsinki, and a Swedish version by Öberg & Son, Stockholm.


Promotional playing cards printed by Dondorf for Saks & Company, New York, late 1920s.

Karl Gerich No.26

Variations on the standard English pattern are one of Karl's favourite themes. He produced several versions and this is a magnificent example.

Karl Gerich No.27

The courts are characters from Wagner's opera “The Ring of the Nibelungs”, beautifully etched and hand coloured. Each character is named in a cursive script along each side of the card.

Karl Gerich No.29

“Victoria Playing Cards” designed by Georgina Harvey and produced by Karl Gerich, Bath (UK), 1988. Printed from copperplate etching; hand-coloured.

1989 Karl Gerich No.28

Karl Gerich No.28

Double-ended courts based on standard English pattern but with variant colours; double-ended Joker plus Steve Davis card.

1870 Kinder-Karte


First published in c.1870, children are presented in these miniature Patience cards disguised as Kings, Queens and Jacks. The Kings' crowns are slightly over-sized for their heads and the children are wearing false beards.

1870 Vier-Erdteile c.1870

Vier-Erdteile c.1870

Dondorf's Luxus-Spielkarte “Vier-Erdteile” (“Four Continents”) was first published in c.1870 and has been re-published in several editions, variations and formats since then.

Dondorf Tarot Court Cards

Dondorf Tarot Court Cards.

Dondorf Tarot Aces

The four suits are associated with four countries: Clubs = Germany, Diamonds = UK, Spades = Russia and Hearts = France.

Dondorf Tarot

Dondorf's “Microscopique Tarock“ was first published in c.1870. The scenes portrayed at each end of the trump cards are marvels of miniature graphic artwork and printing.

Karl Gerich No.19

An unpublished design by Karl Gerich showing 12 court cards, a Joker and two additional cards produced from an etching. The number '19' can be seen inside the star on the title card.


Representing Iranian culture and history and intended for a Persian market, these playing cards were designed by V. Romanowski de Boncza, ordered by the Iranian government playing card monopoly at the time and printed by Thomas De la Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1937.

No.6 Austrian

This early Gerich work is an adaptation of the English pattern with continental stylisation. The double-ended designs are slightly different at each end and divided by a gold band.

No.10 - Four Corners

Karl Gerich was a great admirer of playing cards produced by B. Dondorf and his tenth pack was inspired by Dondorf's “Luxus-Spielkarte Vier-Erdteile” (Four Continents Luxury Playing Cards) designed by Friedrich Karl Hausmann, 1870.


Kimberley’s Royal National Patriotic playing cards, c.1892-1905.

1886 Deakin’s 1st edition

Deakin’s 1st edition

Deakin & Co., 45 Eastcheap, London EC published a political pack in 1886 with caricatures of political figures relating to the Irish Home Rule movement which was a contentious issue of the day.


One of the outstanding and most popular packs made by the Turnhout cardmakers was the Bongoût type. Special scenic Aces could be added to packs according to the client’s preferences.

Tarot Microscopique

French-suited tarot cards made by B. Dondorf, c.1870.

Metastasis Transformation Playing Cards, 1811

First published by S & J Fuller, Rathbone Place, London, September 1st 1811. This Nixon-Fuller deck was the first English deck now commonly known as transformation playing cards - the first use of the term "transformation".

Tungsram Playing Cards

Tungsram Playing Cards, Art Deco playing cards from Hungary

De La Rue Continental

During the latter part of the nineteenth century De La Rue produced two special packs of cards for the Continental market. The Aces of Spades are marked "De La Rue & Co. London and Paris".