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Empire cards (Reichs-Karte)

During the First World War, the Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken (VSS) edited two war packs with French suit-signs. The Altenburg branch produced many editions of the
This is a late edition from spring 1918, it is from the print run of the 800th to 899th thousand. The pack shown is a bit special because it shows a sponsor's name (a car manufacturer) on three of the Aces.

The cards were designed by Fritz von Lindenau, and you should compare them to those of the German-suited Deutsche Kriegs Spielkarte.

The Aces show the coats of arms of Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, and Württemberg, together with a motto. On the Kings and Jacks are reigning persons, military leaders, and politicians. The Queen of Clubs is Empress Auguste-Victoria, the other Queens are allegories for agriculture, welfare, and technology and science.

On the back is an Iron Cross, in oak leaves and surrounded by Imperial Eagles.

You can also see a version of the pack produced by the Stralsund branch on these pages.

© Peter Endebrock, 07 Feb. 2004