When I get new items for my collection, I sometimes add images and information about them to already existing pages. But I thought that it might be an interesting exercise to list some of my recent acquisitions and say why it is that I wanted to keep them in my collection.
554a: I have other examples of this court design, which first appeared before WWI. It's a rather unusual redrawing of Goodall's standard wide courts. The idea was to introduce large indices. It was often boxed, as in this case, as '1909'. However, this pack, which came from a bridge set, has the De La Rue version of the AS with "Registered Trademark" at the top and what is the most significant card: the bridge score card with the 1935 scores for no trumps. So, this is evidence that this particular brand and design continued until WWII. This ties in with the courts I've seen at Holton Air Museum (Suffolk) with hidden maps; I wrote a short note for The Playing Card about them a few years ago.
1837: USPCC's Trophy Whist in its original version, 1895. I had one years ago, but got rid of it, so here it is again. This is an idiosyncratic redrawing of the standard design with several of the traditional features recognizable. This is No.39x, so has gold edges. Whether they were not popular, I don't know, but they soon reverted to standard courts (US1.1), but retained the large indices.
1838: Reynolds double-ended wood-block (Type IIIb) for the Prince of Wales. I have two other examples, but this one has a post-Frizzle AS, so it was probably reissued c.1863 for the Prince's wedding. It's a nice example of old-fashioned cards still being produced when other makers had much more up-to-date designs. It's in fairly poor condition, having been attacked by damp, but will I see another one?
1840: Goodall, early four corner indices with a clear New Zealand tax stamp from 1884. Nice confirmation that these indices and the cut-down courts were used throughout the 1880s. Several of the WCMPC packs from this decade have them, too.
1844: Looks pretty boring, eh? Well, it always pays to look closely at even the most mundane of packs. I've just written a short piece about the pack for the EPCS Newsletter: this is the gist of it. The main characteristics of the pack are:
Courts: W5.1, so printed by Waddington.
AS: 2.1, Waddington printing.
Box: poor quality wartime card.
Back design: standard design by Waddington for Crown cards.
Name on box: Thomas de la Rue & Co., Ltd, so before the change to DLR Stationers.
All pretty straightforward and the date will be 1942/43.
However, there are two more cards that throw an interesting spanner into the works. The joker and a spare 2D WITH THE SAME BACK DESIGN are those produced for/by Andersons, Edinburgh Ltd. Even if these are from another pack originally, it still doesn’t explain why the Anderson cards have a back design printed by Waddington. I’ve managed to find out little about who printed the Anderson cards, though they are of the same design as those made after WWII by Porterprint/Jarvis Porter. The latter firm was based in Leeds, like Waddington, so did Waddington print their cards, too, during the war?
1845: Quite a contrast with the previous item! Reynolds (mostly) Type I with Garter AS. This pack originates from c.1810. Sadly, it's a mixed pack with three of the ubiquitous Hunt HB1 courts added during the 1820s (JC & QH above).
1855: a copy of USPCC's US4 wide courts, made by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. It says on the box that they were printed in their own factory. A nice example of a home-grown variant.
1856: Japanese production for Astor PCCo, c.1970. These are a bit of a mystery because I have examples of this version of the USPCC's design for their bridge cards (US3.1) from Germany as well made by Nürnberger and an anonymous pack for Barbados with a different variant of these courts but the same joker. All very puzzling - but it keeps me on my toes!
1857: KZWP (Poland) patience pack with Polish indices, c.1972. The courts are a funny mix of Goodall's and Waddington's. I have several standard English packs with different indices including Irish, Scandinavian and Dutch, so this is just another to add to the list.
1859: Strong & Ready, New Zealand, two colour courts with a slightly different AS with no reference to Toytown (the name of the factory), c.1950.
1860: Thomas, Australia, four-colour court set + AS, c.1920. I have a pack with two-colour courts.
1862: VSS with Bechstein trademark, copy of USPCC US3 but with six turned courts, c.1910. I have an example with unturned courts.
1863: E. E. Fairchild for Young & Rudolph, Play-well, 1926. The back commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. This is a slightly different AS from MSN54 in Dawson/Hochman, which is listed under Gibson, but these courts are definitely by Fairchild.
1869 & 1870: Both packs from a bazique box from around the time the firms were getting together as NYCC. 1869 is a close copy of De La Rue's D4.1 and 1870 is a copy of Goodall's G3. Difficult to know whether they were both originally in the wooden box together. c.1868
1871: Wüst copy of Goodall's G4, c.1890, 32 cards. This has a Turnhout AS, but the quality of the card is better than most Belgian productions of the period. The numbers on the red cards is printed in black and 10 = X. I've known this pack for some time and now I've managed to get one!
1872: Dondorf Forcolor (notice the different spelling from the US pack below by Arrco: Forcolar ). Only three figures are used for the different suits: those of the KC, QC & JS without a hat, but there are different colour schemes on the clothing. A coloured version of their standard joker, which is usually in black and white. c.1928.
1873: Frommann & Morian with courts and AS based on Goodall's design, c.1931. I've had a conjuring pack with these courts for a long time, but several of them are different at each end and there's no example of the JD. So, this fills a nice gap.
1874: Arrco for Forcolar, 1947. Lacks the AS. I have another version of this pack with the same courts, but orange, not yellow, diamonds and no initials on the suit signs. This may be the first version, while the simplified one came later.
1877: Now, here's a strange one. Carta Mundi, but made in England, presumably at the Games & Print factory, using GPS courts. These were made for Ted Baker and purport to be magical. There's an instructions slip inside the box for four "tricks", but the cards themselves don't seem to have been doctored in any way. But they do have square corners! They were boxed and cello-wrapped, but may have been a test print; though, if so, why bother to wrap them? They probably date from c.2015. Other packs I have made for Ted Baker are from China and have courts which are copied from the Italian version of Goodall's design, but in unusual colours.
1891: Charles Steer is not exactly a common maker. I never thought I'd get one of these, so a well-worn, incomplete example is fine by me. They are exactly the same as the cards sold by Perry with his own AS, which has the same design as Steer's only with different wording. The back design is one which I have in different colours on a Whitaker export pack and is similar to one used by Lawrence & Cohen in monochrome. Steer was taken over by Willis in 1869, so these date from c.1865.
1894: Mirakel celluloid pack for poker, c.1930. A modernized version of the court design used by Piatnik and other continental companies at this time, based on NYCC's US6.1. The redrawing has obscured quite a bit of the traditional clothing. The KH is differently proportioned from the other courts, as he has been given a diagonal sash to wear with the full name of the firm who made the cards. The other courts have a suggestion of the Austrian large crown pattern. You can see from the shadows on the scan that the cards are bowed.
1905: Now here's a funny one! Belgian, c.1880-1900. The courts have been turned to put all pips on the left, except that someone seems to have had the instructions wrong and has turned the QH, so that her pip is on the right. The only Belgian maker I know to have turned single-figure courts is van Genechten, but the AS is one used by Mesmaekers. So this is a difficult one to work out. The courts are definitely in the style of van Genechten, even down to details such as the mark on the neck of the QC, so did they also copy the AS from Mesmaekers? The Turnhout makers seem to have copied one another as much as they copied other foreign makers, so just about anything is possible. Still, I like the quirky QH!