The Doppeldeutsche Schnapskarten Nr. 1730 deck I have contains 24 cards. Known as the William Tell cards which were common in Eastern Europe, has suits called hearts, acorns, leaves and bells.The images you see are displayed for the purpose of this post. This original deck is at least 30 years old if not more. The colors are vivid and the markings on the cards are in German.
Interpreting these cards does take some skill until you get used to them. This deck is different from the 36 card one. Learning to read the 24 cards requires some effort in studying some of the historical background on the meanings of the characters in the suits as there are only 8 numbered cards. (9 + 10 in each suit)
HEARTS – 9, 10, (middle card, top row in Image 2) Lower Jack (Kuoni d. Hirt/Herc Unter), Upper Jack (Herrmann Geszle/Herc Ober), King (first card, bottom row Image 2) and Fruhling (translated to Spring-shown as the second card in the bottom row in Image 2.
BELLS – 9, 10, Lower Jack (Stussi d. Flurschutz/Schelle Ober, left card, top row in Image 2), Upper Jack (Itell Reding/Schelle Unter, King and Sommer (translated to Summer- right card, bottom row Image 2)
LEAVES – 9, 10 (right card, top row Image 2- this card has the issue # as well), Lower Jack (Urich Ruden/Grüne Ober), Upper Jack (Walter Furst/Grüne Unter-some say William Tell’s father-in-law), King and Herbst (I found no translation but is probably Autumn to correspond with the other season cards). The season cards all have female images.
ACORNS – 9, 10, Lower Jack (Wilhem Tell/Eichel Ober), Upper Jack (Rudolf Harras/Eichel Unter), King and Winter.
Looking at the images on the cards you would have some difficulty assigning meaning since half of them have figures males. The numbered cards are similar to the vintage Tarot minors before Pamela Coleman Smith put a face to them.
My understanding is the Upper Jacks represent females in various aspects of life. For example wife, mother, widow, divorcee, lover, maiden, child. I think you would have to memorize those associations before attempting a reading. The Kings can be easily placed. The Lower Jacks don’t really represent males but are adjectives or events. Mostly they are thoughts of the King or the Upper Jack (known to us as the Queen).
The Hearts are in keeping with the traditional hearts/cups associations. The Acorns are related to the spades/swords. The Bells are similar to clubs/wands. There are many cards depicting change and timing of events in this suit. This is good because ‘timing’ is an element which is not done easily unless there is a solid system or designated cards. The Leaves resemble the diamonds/pentacles suit.
If I were to read the block of 6 cards in Image 2 based on core meanings I would string the cards first. Here is an example of what I mean.
King of hearts= important male in your life.
Fruhling= Spring season
Sommer= Summer season
Bell, Upper Jack= a wife or mother
10 hearts= family or home issues.
10 leaves= larger sum of money (oh I like the sound of that, lol)
Double 10′s would indicate a surprise or unexpected event surrounding the theme of these 6 cards which is …. not sure yet. It involves the time frame of next Spring to Summer. There is a man who is connected to the family or home. A large sum of money is highlighted. Since I shuffled and threw the cards it could be a situation around me or another female. There are no negative cards but there wouldn’t be because we haven’t got that many to work with. There are more in the deck of 36.
Well that was a fun post to write. Hope you enjoy it. home page