Musicalische Zauberkarte – Cartes Magiques Musicales (Musical Magic Cards)

Musicalische Zauberkarte – Cartes Magiques Musicales (Musical Magic Cards)

Darmstadt, Germany: Frommann, [1869]. Unbound. 30 of 32 cards with two (duplicates) provided in facsimile plus instruction folder (in English, French, German, and Italian) and box remnants. Lithographed with stenciled color. Music staves on each card; twelve face cards show amateur musicians singing and playing a variety of instruments. Cards are in nice shape; the box front and back are present, no sides or bottom.

The cards can be arranged to compose over “100,000 Tänze für das Piano” – “100,000 morceau de danse” (100,000 Dances for the Piano). “Select indiscriminately and place on the musicdesk, in the middle a 1, on the left-hand extremity a picture-card, and on the right a seven. Fill each of the two intervening spaces by any three cards taken also indiscriminately . . . . It will then be found that the nine cards placed together form two pieces of dance-music which can be played without difficulty.”

Provenance: Harrie A. Kenter collection, Amsterdam. Very good. Item #008929

The cards were first announced in Polybiblion: Universal Bibliographic Review, IV, 1869, p. 158. They are mentioned, though not by title, in Van Rensselaer (1912), p. 301 Exceptionally scarce. As of 2018, nothing similar is for sale in the trade nor listed at OCLC, Rare Book Hub, ABPC, nor Worthpoint, however one deck without box was sold in 2011 at a Millon auction in Paris for €1,500 (before premium). Two cards lacking, so priced accordingly.

Price: $600.00

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