The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Children’s Card Games (193)

January 17th, 2013 · 6 Comments


“Black Peter” — a sort of Eastern European version of “Old Maid” — reappears in an undated deck from Piatnik, in Vienna.  This delicate rendering of an accordion and cat duet is particularly nice.  For some reason, two Black Peters are included, which seems to belie the point of the game.  Do the players choose boy or girl at the outset?  Are there two losers?



(Posted by Doug Skinner)

Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Win // Jan 22, 2013 at 1:13 am

    If I didn’t know any better I’d say this set of images looks like it comes from the same town that gave the world Sigmund Fraud and his erotic mysticism…

    (Too mean?)

  • 2 Doug // Jan 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Well, I think these are lovely, offbeat paintings. There’s no need to drag them down to Freud’s leering pseudo-science. The Black Peter and his consort may seem odd, but I’m glad they weren’t depicted in blackface, which is a xmas tradition.

  • 3 Win // Jan 23, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I regret having posted that and I sincerely apologize. It was a stupid, unnecessary remark reflecting poor judgment. Sorry. I have grounded myself.

  • 4 Doug // Jan 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Just keep away from that Freud!

  • 5 mamie // Jan 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    They are remarkable images! The handprint on Piettra, or whatever we want to call the woman Peter, is put at quite an unusual spot!
    But I’m glad you’ve grounded yourself, Win – you’ll avoid electric shocks that way!

  • 6 Win // Jan 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Thanks, Mamie. Oddly enough, last night I read this passage about Mr. Joseph Priestley in a book about three 18th century scientists (or philosophers, as they used to call them in those days):
    A poor woman of his flock [he was a preacher as well as a scientist] who imagined herself possessed by a devil, went to the minister for help. He had the reputation of being able to work miracles. Priestley attempted to reason with her, but the patient remained fixed in her delusion. The next day she returned, and the minister assured her that he had found a way of relieving her incubus. “His electrical apparatus being in readiness, with great gravity he desired the woman to stand upon the stool with glass legs, at the same time putting into her hand a brass chain connected with the conductor, and having charged her plentifully with electricity, he told her, very seriously, to take particular notice of what he did. He then took up a discharger, and applied it to her arm, when the escape of electricity gave her a pretty strong shock. ‘There,’ says she, ‘the devil’s gone. I saw him go in that blue flame, and he gave me such a jerk as he went off. I have at last got rid of him and I am now quite comfortable.'”
    (Priestley invented soda water.)

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