HELLO! In May 2012 I thought it was time to start a blog for all those interested in playing cards. Personally, I'm tired of all the inaccurate information on the Internet about cards (and most other things, too), so here's an opportunity to put some bits right. And who the hell am I to think I can do any better?
Well, I'm Ken Lodge and have been collecting playing cards since I was about eighteen months old (1945). I am also a trained academic, so I can observe and analyze reasonably well. I've applied these analytical techniques over a long period of time to the study of playing cards and have managed to assemble a large amount of information about them, especially those of the standard English pattern. But the approach to studying playing cards that I take can be applied to any kind of cards, including card games. Since a large amount of the information I have about playing cards and their history is in my head, I thought it was about time I gave some of it a public airing, hopefully for the benefit of others.
If you wish to contact me, please use my home e-mail address: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to announce that the new book by Paul Bostock and me is now at the printers and is now ready for sale. It is a comprehensive survey of English card-makers from 1761-1905 with a focus on the wood-block period. The contents will be as follows:
Chapter One: Introduction - general discussion of the issues, the sources and the approach.
Chapter Two: The makers - a list of all the makers we know of, their addresses and dates, plus the timeline version, including a section on difficult cases such as importers and obscure firms listed under card-makers.
Chapter Three: The list of duty aces maker by maker identifying known examples.
Chapter Four: The block analysis - introduction to the method and discussion of the findings.
Chapter Five: The stencil analysis - introduction to the method and discussion of the findings.
Chapter Six: Type III and later developments.
Appendix: Mixed packs and odd courts
Bits of the information used in putting the book together have been posted on this blog. The block analysis and the stencil analysis cover the period 1790-1830; the former is the presentation of distinctive features of the outlines of each court figure, and the latter is a presentation of the colour distribution by stencil. The aim is to show how each maker had a slightly different product, even though the differences might be very slight in some cases.
The book contains 121 pages plus title page (illustrated above), is perfect bound with a flexible cover, and costs £38 + postage. If you would like a copy, please contact me in the first instance at email@example.com. Please specify which rate of postage you would prefer. The postage rates are as follows:
First (UK): £2.38*
Second (UK): £2.01*
Europe (Air): £6.60
Overseas (USA etc): £10.15
*Please note: these prices are with an ordinary manila envelope. On one occasion it was clearly inadequate for the rough handling of the Post Office, so if you would prefer a padded envelope, the cost will be £3.20 (1st) + 70p for the envelope or £2.80 (2nd) + 70p for the envelope. Let me know which you prefer.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF REPRINT
*** The standard English pattern (2nd edition, 2010) is now available again to order. Corrected and enlarged, there are now 375 pages. The price is £75 + postage for the colour version and £40 + postage for the black and white.
EXTRACT FROM PAGE 241
The contents are as follows:
Part One: the British Isles
Chapter One: Early Makers
Chapter Two: Redrawn designs: English makers to the present
Chapter Three: Addresses of some English makers (to 1939)
Part Two: the rest of the world
Chapter Four: Designs related to those of English makers
Chapter Five: American designs
Chapter Six: Belgium
Chapter Seven: China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
Chapter Eight: Other designs from the rest of the world
Appendix One: The number cards and mixed packs
Appendix Two: The development of Type II courts by Hall
If anyone has any queries about cards, I'll do my best to answer them. But if I don't know the answer, I'll say so, and if I'm guessing, I'll say so.