Cycling with Playing Cards forbidden
The Flemish Hunting Deck is the oldest complete set of illuminated ordinary playing cards, dating from the 15th century. It was probably produced between 1470 – 80.
The cards are hand drawn and painted on pasteboard with real gold and silver embellishments.
They were sold at auction in 1978 and described as an incomplete set of tarot cards from the 16th century.
A Dutch antiques dealer called Harrie Kenter paid 8,000 Dutch guilder for them, believing the set to be older than described.
Kenter kept the set for some years, sometimes cycling with them in his coat pocket. The cards were then re-evaluated having been studied by a manuscript specialist and Kenter’s insurance company prohibited him from cycling around with them.
In 1983 the set was sold by Sothebys in London to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for $143,000.
A nifty return for Kenter on his initial outlay!