18th century playing cards
Lot 19
A pack of German tarock cards, designed by Daniel Chodowiezki, circa 1785,
Sold for £3,500 (US$ 5,882) inc. premium
Lot Details
A pack of German tarock cards,
designed by Daniel Chodowiezki, circa 1785,
possibly by Matthias Backofen of Nuremberg, or the playing card factory at Bayreuth, trumps as full-length figures, double-ended ornate Roman numerals, French or German titles depicting drama scenes from Macbeth or Gil Blas, (Trump IX is depicted as the actor, David Garrick, in Macbeth), Courts as full-length figures, French suits, Knave of Hearts holds a shield with a large "B", Knave of Diamonds bears the letter "B" on the breast plate, gilt edges, square corners, blue patterned backs,
10.5cm x 5.5cm [78/78].


  • Reference: Kaplan, II, pp. 423-424, Christie's "Historic Cards & Games: The Stuart and Marylin Kaplan Collection", Wednesday, 21 June 2006, lot 96.

    This pack of playing cards was designed by Daniel Nikolaus Chodoweiski, who was born in Gdansk in 1726 and died in 1801 in Berlin. There are two possible cardmakers for the pack: Matthias Backofen of Nuremberg, or the gaol at Bayreuth, where a playing card factory was established in 1783. The "B" on the Knave of Hearts and Diamonds could stand for Backofen's initials, or possibly for "Bayreuth". The King of Spades displays a locket around his neck: this could be the coat of arms of the Hohenzollern Dynasty; up until 1791 Bayreuth belonged to the principality of Brandenburg-Bayreuth/Ansbach; after that date, Prussia.
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