Hand-made replica 17th century English playing cards, based on museum originals.
Dougherty was at the forefront of innovation, adding Best Bowers and then Jokers, rounded corners and various types of indices, or indicators, to his cards.
Based upon one of the oldest ‘standard’ patterns, the Kings and Queens are three-quarter length figures whilst the Jacks are full-length with legs giving the impression that they are walking about!
Wüst's Swiss Cantons souvenir deck was published in Frankfurt in c.1875 for the emerging tourist market.
A Victorian card game telling a story of a victim being ensnared in a trap, being caught, and finally escaping.
“Circus No.47”, first issued in 1896. The staid old Kings, Queens and Jacks have given way to various well-known ring masters, clowns and queens; dashing circus designs. Indeed, the clown Jacks are only a short step away from Jokers!
These cards are from neatly etched plates, and are carefully coloured. The court cards present full-length figures in character costumes.
In 1804, J.C. Cotta, a publisher and bookseller in Tübingen, Germany, produced the first set of transformation cards that was published as an actual deck of playing cards.
Transformation playing cards designed by the illustrator, comic artist and stage designer ‘Alfred Crowquill’ (Alfred Henry Forrester, 1804-72), printed by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Czech “Hussite” Pack engraved by Karel Hoffmann and first printed by Jan Ritter in 1895.
Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. Many of his playing cards have historical connotations and show figures with a landscape background.
This deck was apparently made to commemorate a Shooting Festival held in Leipzig in 1884
Baraja IV Centenario Don Quijote is the work of artist Vicente Arnás, published by Asescoin, Madrid, 2004.
The luxury playing card factory founded in Frankfurt am Main by Bernhard Dondorf in 1833 existed for 100 years and was a particularly attractive chapter in playing card history.
After the Second World War, the deck continued to be produced both by the VEB Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik as “Rokoko” and by ASS-Spielkartenfabrik, Leinfelden-Echterdingen as “Baronesse”.
“Cartes Comiques”, published by B. Dondorf, 52 cards (no Joker), printed by chromolithography, square corners, 65mm x 94mm, c.1870-1888. The reverse shows Cinderella and the Prince in a casement, their faces forming a Heart and Diamond, with Club and Spade in vignettes below.
Another of Dondorf's masterpieces of chromolithography, the detailed artwork on these cards has multiple tints and highlights giving the figures a brilliant, glossy character.
The Queens, who wear short sleeved dresses with bonnets adorned with chin straps and roses, hold a rose, a fan, a bird or a letter.
Dondorf's Luxus-Spielkarte “Vier-Erdteile” (“Four Continents”) was first published in c.1870 and has been re-published in several editions, variations and formats since then.
A new ‘medieval look’ is intended to suggest the power and virtue of the German character. The Kings lead the church and the army, protecting the empire; the noble Queens represent the power of love, domestic virtues and art; the Jacks portray chivalry, hunting, poetry and music.
Although not historically accurate this example is subtitled “Stuart period”, with rich costumes for the Kings who resemble little emperors; luxurious accessories for the Queens and flamboyant Jacks all creating associations with an imaginary period sometime before the French Revolution.
Dougherty first secured a patent for “Triplicates” in 1876, a novel type of indices with a miniature card in the top left-hand corner (and bottom right). These kept Dougherty at the forefront of innovation.
The English Playing Card Society's 10th Anniversary Transformation Playing Cards designed and produced by Karl Gerich, 1993
Philibert published an outstanding series of exotic, artistic playing cards in Paris from 1954 to 1960, including: St Hubert Bridge, Can-Can, Le Florentin and Mémoires de Casanova.
Lightly risqué luxury playing cards published by Éditions Philibert of Paris in 1956.
The suit signs and indices are clear and easily recognisable, and each suit has a different predominant colour. The juxtaposition of traditional craft techniques with abstract modern design could be seen as postmodern.
The Eglantine Table, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, elaborately inlaid with marquetry depicting musical instruments, playing-cards, games and heraldic references.
Playing cards commemorating the IX centenary of the death of ‘El Cid’ designed by Vicente S. Algora.
The courts are full-length figures of English historical personages.
Gedimino Stulpai playing cards made in Lithuania by Spindulys Printing Co., Kaunas, depicting Lithuanian national symbolism.
Goodall's “Japanesque” brand was used for stationery products since around 1880 but these playing cards were added to the range in around 1900.
A magnificent example of Goodall & Son's range of chromolithographed Commemorative playing cards from the late nineteenth century.
Boulanger's paintings and graphic art works are easily recognized. The Latin American influence is an integral part of her work. The use of light and contrasting colours are reminiscent of her years spent in La Paz, memories of her native country.
Fortune Tellers use the Hafez Cards by interpreting the Hāfez poems printed on the card backs when cards are selected randomly by their consultants.
Happy Families is probably one of the most popular card games ever invented, with educational benefits relating to sorting and matching of sets, as well as early literacy and elementary genealogy, flowers or bird identification, etc.
Tobacco insert cards were a very successful marketing innovation which started in the nineteenth century.
Hodges’ pack dealing with astronomy had numeral cards carrying diagrams of constellations and their pictorial representations.
Instead of the old emblematic designs, the trump cards show illustrations of animals, which could possibly have symbolic meanings or moralizing interpretations
The traditional animal images on tarok decks are here substituted by images of buildings from Copenhagen and the surrounding area. The deck had several editions, with each new edition updating the latest changes to the buildings that had taken place since the previous edition.
Published by the Hycrest Playing Card Co., New York, c.1931. The large suit symbol behind each figure enhances the visual impact of the deck, as does the splendid back design & Joker.
Imperial Royal Playing Cards published by S. & J. Fuller, 34 Rathbone Place, London, 1828. The court cards show bust portraits of historical figures of England, Spain, Turkey and France.
‘Ganjifa’ playing cards made in Sheopor in the North of Madhya Pradesh province in Central India. The Ganjifa game probably developed from 13th century games played by Mamluk immigrants from China.
This historical Icelandic deck was first published in c.1930 and shows the native Icelandic Vikings of some thousand years ago rendered in a romantic naturalistic style.
Historical Deck made by Johann Conrad Jegel, Nürnberg, after 1850. Etching by G. Pommer, stencil coloured, 36 cards. The pip cards show scenes from the history of the German (Holy Roman) Empire.
An amazing difference can be seen between the early and the later Jacob Holmblad packs, covering a time span of only 17 years.
The Q♥ has a butterfly net in which she has caught four hearts. Many of Holmblad's designs were replaced or changed in different editions, but this design was not used again.
The court cards have become abstract forms with almost no visible indication of what suit they belong to. The idea was to disguise their appearance after Mekuri games such as Unsun Karuta and Tenshô Karuta were banned by the authorities, especially if played with foreign cards.
Japanese Flower Cards (Hana Fuda) made by Nintendo, Japan, 2008