Klaus Havenstein was a German actor an also did voice dubbing in many movies, among other artistic activities. He was quite popular at the time of the publishing of this deck of cards. Shortly before, he also had presented a TV Show that explained how a circus worked behind the scene, and also wrote a book called “Die Stadt auf Rädern” (The City on Wheels in German) about the same topic. That is where the circus deck comes from.
It shows 9 families of four card each (quartets) and each family is
devoted to one of the different shows that are usually performed in the circus
arena: tricks with horses, wild animals tamers, acrobats, clowns and so on. The
deck is over 50 years old, and, we see the evolution of circus, if we compare
the pictures here with current shows. Some laws have been passed recently in
which the use of animals is limited or even forbidden, while at the time, we
could see wild animals like monkeys (mostly chimpanzees), tigers, lions, elefants, bears… The circus
as such has also lost a great amount of importance in these five decades and
today there are much fewer companies (or troupes) touring Europe, is rarely
seen on TV, and it does not raise as much interest as 20 or 30 years ago. Actually is a shame that such cultural and artistic events are declining, or if not declining, that the successor or the evolution of these are not as attractive as it used to be. Children are today difficult to surprise or astound, as there are many options to see extraordinary things in short videos on Internet platforms.
The deck is made by Berliner Spielkarten GmbH, which is a company that produced many card decks and also board games during the 70s and the 80s and that is now part of Ravensburger, after this company took over Berliner in 1999. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much information on the web about the old Berliner Spielkarten Firm. Maybe somebody can forward me to an article or newspaper with information in German or English.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- Name: KLAUS HAVENSTEIN ZIRKUSQUARTETT (Nr. 102019)
- Year: Around 1970
- Company: Berliner Spielkarten GmbH & Cie (Germany)