'Fruits of the field' handmade botanical playing cards : C Samson-Boure, Internee

Place Asia: Netherlands East Indies, Java, Bandoeng
Accession Number REL34771
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cardboard, Cotton
Maker Unknown
Place made Netherlands East Indies: Java, Bandoeng
Date made c 1942 - 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Set of forty handmade playing cards, each cut from buff manila card and measuring 99 mm x 60 mm. All have a plain back while each face is decorated in pen and coloured pencil with images of edible fruit, vegetables, nuts, fungi and grasses. The cards are divided into ten groups of four, with each card bearing a group title, image description with latin botanical name and a listing of the four items in that group, much like Happy Families. The groups and their contents are: Koren (Corn), consisting of mais (maize), rogge (rye), haver (oats) and tarwe (wheat); Besvruchten (Berry Fruit), consisting of aardbei (strawberry), aalbes (red currant), druif (grape) and kruisbes (gooseberry); Wortelgewas (Root vegetables), consisting of ui (onion), ramenas (radish), radijs (radish) and prei (leek); Pitvruchten (Stonefruit), consisting of peer (pear), kweepeer (quince), appel (apple) and mispel (common medlar); Peulvruchten (legumes), consisting of tuinboon (bean), erwt (pea), linze (lentil) and spercieboon (unknown bean); Schaalvruchten (Nuts), consisting of kastanje (chestnut), okkernoot (walnut), amandel (almond) and hazelnoot (hazelnut); Steenvruchten (Stonefruit), consisting of abrikoos (apricot), kers (cherry), perzik (peach) and kwets (damson plum); Stronkvruchten (Brassica), consisting of witte kool (white cabbage); bloemkool (cauliflower), koolraap (rutabaga or swede) and rode kool (red cabbage); Knolgewas (Tubers), consisting of wortel (carrot), beetwortel (beetroot), selderij (celery) and aardappel (potato) and Paddenstoelen (Mushrooms), consisting of champignon (champignon), eetbare paddestoel (golden chanterelle), duivelsbrood (porcini) and knotspaddestoel (club). The rules for playing the game are hand written in Dutch on both sides of an additional card. The cards are housed in a rectangular box bound in a striped cotton and reinforced with the same manila card as used for the set. The box lid is secured with a small snap fastener.

History / Summary

Set of forty Happy Family style playing cards entitled 'Fruits of the Field', created for Charles Samson-Bouret while he was living in the Japanese Internment Camp, Camp Karees, in Bandoeng, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). The cards were cut, drawn and hand coloured in the camp, and the box they are held in is bound with fabric from the pocket of Charles' pyjamas. Camp Karees was an internment Camp for Dutch women and children.
According to his daughter, Charles Samson-Bouret was aged about 10 at the time of his internment. 'He dived for food scraps in the local watering holes and provided extra food for [a] woman in the camp who had a number of small children. She made the cards and gave them to him as a gift.' Her name is unfortunately unrecorded. Also interned at the same time was Elizabeth Tiero, then in her late teens; her sketches recording Camp Karees are now held by the Memorial (see ART92984, ART92985, ART92986 and ARt92987). Both met in Holland after their repatriation in 1945 and later married and emigrated to Australia.