The notgeld issues of 1914 do tend to be more drab and plainer looking than the very colourful notgeld which were issued after the end of WWI. In 1914, there was a real 'necessity' for small change money. The later issues really boomed because they met a need in the collecting market!


The 2 scans, above and below, are 'Gutsverwaltung' notes and were issued in Lopischewo b. Ritschenwalde (Posen) - Polish - Lopiszewo) and have no written date, although the date is known to be 8th August 1914. They are 'spielkarten notgeld' pieces (made from playing cards) and they are extremely rare due to the very small numbers that were actually issued. They made 162 (81 marks worth) of the 50pf piece, 327 of the 1m piece, 164 (492 marks worth) of the 3m piece and only 99 (495 marks worth) of the 5m piece! It is not known how many of these pieces exist today.


The pieces have a catalogue value of 200 euros each, except the 1m piece which catalogues at 150 euros. (please note though - a similar 50pf piece to the one above, sold in early 2010 for over 200 euros, because of the scarcity and demand from the notgeld collectors! Quite often these scarcer or rare unusual notgeld pieces will sell for much higher than their catalogue values)


The 50pf pieces are brown, the 1m pieces red, the 3m pieces blue and the 5m pieces green. They were all printed on either 'Hearts', 'Diamonds', 'Spades' or 'Clubs' ('Herz', 'Kreuz', 'Pik', 'Karo') - so there are 16 'different' pieces in total to collect!!


The only other GERMAN towns that issued 'spielkarten' notgeld, between 1914-1923, that I know of are;


Bretleben, C.Zuchold, 20, 40pf, 1918


Leipzig, Schwarz & Grossen??



Marienwerder, R.Floeting, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20pf, 1920


Roetzenhagen, 25, 50pf, 1m



Stralsund, G.Habeck, 5, 10, 25, 50pf, 1922 (GNCC members only......see under 'Notgeld categories/serienscheine')

As other notgeld collectors have interests with all types of unusual notgeld including those ssued on playing cards, I will now include info. I have acquired regarding some AUSTRIAN types. The ones described and pictured below, are much later than the rare German Lopischewo pieces from 1914, but still very fascinating to collectors.

In AUSTRIA, I know that the catalogues mention the towns of Steyregg and Reichental for issuing pieces made on, or of, playing cards. These Austrian serienscheine pieces, were issued around 1920-1921.


The Steyregg pieces had face-values of either 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 80 or 90 heller. They were made by an unknown individual, by pasting or sticking white pieces of paper (which had different coloured motives printed (probably linograph) on them) onto the back of the playing cards.  We do not know how many sets were made and bought by collectors, who were drawn in by this set. See scans below which show a few examples. You can quite easily see that the colour of the playing card is not the same as the printed white paper side. (mouse over the image to see the other sides).......

Steyreggpurple50h Steyreggblack80hSteyreggorange60h




 The big problem here though, with these Steyregg pieces (shown above), is that we know them all to be swindles or forgeries........or some might say 'new productions'! No one has ever seen the genuine and original pieces - if they did indeed ever exist - as this is a swindle set made by someone to 'con' the collectors of that time. The whole set would be 32 pieces, so the manufacturer would clearly make a nice profit from the collectors! At the bottom of the notes, the name 'LEHMEYER' is mis-spelt - it should read 'LEHERMEYER' - somewhere down the line, the 'ER' has been missed out! We know this as LEHERMAYER was the town mayor (buergermeister) and documented as such on official documents etc. On first impressions, they look like an official issued set, but with the mis-spelling of the name, it shows it is not an official set. Also, in all the newspapers of the time, no mention is made of this set, which most definitely would have been the case if it was an officially issued set. Even if you see pieces with an oval official looking stampmark on them from Steyregg - they are wrong - Steyregg never used such a stampmark.


Even the latest 2017 Austrian notgeld catalogues by Kodnar & Kuenstnar list these 'forgeries' or 'swindle' pieces, but with no further info about them. Another renowned notgeld expert colleague of mine, Beate Rauch, has written to the publishers and they will incorporate the correct info, ........if and when a new addition of the catalog is published. Most of the well-known and very knowledgeable notgeld catalogue writers and dealers of notgeld, along with the very specialised notgeld collectors, have also been informed. The remaining mystery is the original date of production of this swindle set. Trelde, however, catalogues this issue in the Austrian notgeld catalogue of 1921 as number 773 IV with 32 notes, although interestingly only the values 10, 20, 50 and 80 Heller are mentioned.
A lot of this information was documented in an article entitled 'Notgeldfälschung' (Notgeld falsification) by a 'Peter Grassnigg', back in 1982, who had also written about Steyregg.


The notgeld playing card pieces of Reichental, are completely different though.


They have a stampmark on them and an 'auflage' (issue number). See below scans: you can see the reverse by holding your mouse over the images.....




Face values were for either 10, 20, 30 or 50 heller. All card suits were represented, with hearts being stamped with the 50 heller value, diamonds with 30, spades with 20 and clubs with the 10 heller value. The top Reichental card/scan is from the set numbered '40' and the other 8 pieces (complete 'diamonds set' above) are from the set numbered '49'. Only 50 spielkarten notgeld sets were ever produced by Reichental, so these pieces can be seen as rare types. Each card suit has Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8 and 7, so a full set consists of 32 pieces. Scans below, show the remaining cards, all from the same set '49'!!

The 'doppelkopf' (double-headed) or 'doppeldeutschen' (double German) pattern cards themselves, were produced by 'Ferd. Piatnik & Sonne A.G.' of Wien (Vienna). The card manufacturer's name can be found on the Ace of Hearts and the King of Spades. The Jack of Hearts mentions the town of the card manufacturer - WIEN. The rounded corners of the cards all have a slight gold colouring to them, which is very noticeable when the cards are held in a pack. The town of Reichental then used the cards to create their notgeld, which they also stamped with the town stampmark, making them a legitimate issue, in 1921.

The town of issue is 'REICHENTAL' but the stampmark states 'REICHENTHAL'. 'Thal' is the old fashioned spelling of 'Tal', so it could be that the stamp has been used for some time and comes from a time before the spelling was changed. (Thanks to Johann Kodnar for this snippet of info).





It is extremely seldom that you will ever see these pieces, let alone a near-complete 'true' set! (The 'Jack of Clubs', is unfortunately, missing).