The Universal Playing Card Co's court card designs, although following traditional lines, are slightly idiosyncratic, particularly the heads and body positions. Earlier cards have narrow indices and margins and were produced in three or four colours. Over the years the printing plates were retouched or redrawn, providing minute clues for dating packs.
Crown Point refers to Alf Cooke's printing works in Leeds (UK), Crown Point Works, which is now a listed building.
Above: one of Universal Playing Card Co Ltd's early brands, featuring the black & white Joker plus an extra advertising card promoting perfect dealing owing to the fabric finish.
Above: two further editions of Crown Point Series playing cards by Universal Playing Card Co.
In the top row there is no shading on the inner part of the ace of spades, c.1930. The bottom row is slightly later and the company name is now 'Ltd', c.1935. Images courtesy Matt Probert.
Club De Luxe
Above: early edition of “Club De Luxe” brand with number 601. Courtesy Matt Probert.
Above: Club De Luxe Playing cards, c.1935. The same motif of a hand holding cards is used on the box, similar to the earlier examples shown above. In this case the Joker is coloured and has been redrawn.
Lodge, Ken: The Standard English Pattern (second revised and enlarged edition), Bungay, Suffolk, 2010