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Gaigel cards with single-faced Swabian pattern

This is a Gaigel pack with the single-faced Swabian pattern (sometimes referred to as Darmstadt pattern). It was produced by an unknown maker in Germany, most probably by Irenäus Bacher in Ulm, made in the 1830s. It might be the earliest pack with this pattern presently known.

This is the so-called 'Ulm type'. There is also a 'Darmstadt' and a 'Stralsund' type. Later packs with the Swabian pattern are usually double-faced, you can see that in a pack from Darmstadt.

Typical for this pattern are the deuce cards, they show symbolic designs for:
Acorns: Student life
Leaves: Art and science
Hearts: Military life
Bells: Trade and crafts

Note the unusual illustrations on the pip cards.

Regretfully, the cards are heavily used, and the Ten and Seven of Acorns are missing. In their place I show these two cards from a different collection, a later pack. For Gaigel, a double pack with two times 24 cards is used.

© Peter Endebrock, 01 May 2012