Start of a collection

I got two shipments of playing cards today, and look, I have a start of a playing card collection. I ordered a various bunch of different decks, some for use, some for decoration. Here’s what I have:

Swedish Öbergs cards. The Swedish standard. Found these in Clas Ohlsson, a Swedish hardware store that’s spreading in Finland. These have beautiful, elaborate court cards.

French Tarot cards. The original reason for my card order. A full 78-card French-suited tarot deck, made for playing games, not for fortune telling. Gorgeous!

Bavarian cards for Schafkopf or Tarock (not Tarot!). Beautiful German-suited 36-card deck. Long and narrow cards, beautiful aces (twos, actually) and court cards

Swiss Jass deck. This one’s quite a beautiful one, too. Genuine Swiss deck with twos for aces and banners for tens. The Swiss style is rather unique — my wife thinks these are really, really ugly cards, but I like them. That’s actually not that uncommon…

These three were ordered from Somerville’s Playing Cards. I got them pretty fast, even though they were shipped on a cheaper rate. Then, from Italian Alida Store:

Spanish Barajo Espagnole. Another beautiful deck with Latin suits in Spanish style, with just 12 cards per suit (court cards begin from 10).

Piacentine. This Northern Italian deck has Latin suits in a Spanish style — that’s quite interesting, as Piacenza is a province in Northern Italy and the Spanish style is more popular in Southern Italy (Naples, Sicily, Sardinia) — but also in Romagna in Northern Italy

Bresciane. Brescia is in Northern Italy, too, and this is a genuinely Northern Italian deck. The cards are narrow and small. This one’s not that good for games, because the cards lack indices and are fairly hard to read. It also seems I’m missing the ace of batons…

Salzburger. This is the only Italian regional deck with German suits. It has very nice court cards, though I’m a bit confused of which is over and which is under — there are two cards with pretty much identical soldiers portrayed. One has the suit symbol on top of the card, one has it in the bottom — it would seem obvious that over has the suit symbol on the top, but the ordering of the cards in the deck suggests otherwise. If anybody can enlighten me with this, I’d be pleased.

So, here’s a start. I can definitely recommend both stores — Playing Cards is a good general-purpose store, while Alida has an excellent selection of Italian regional cards and the Italian tarot decks.

My collection is clearly missing a Wilhelm Tell deck, perhaps some Italian tarots and an Austrian tarot deck…

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3 responses to “Start of a collection”

  1. They’re waiting for better financial situation =) They’re just too expensive, as I don’t think the games played with them are that interesting in the end. But sure, they would definitely belong to the collection, as would proper Mahjong cards.

  2. I totally agree about the quality of Hanafuda games. That’s why I too have resisted up to now. Would be an excellent project for a games designer though.