The “Smart Set 400” brand with named backs was introduced in c.1906 by the Kalamazoo Playing Card Co. in Michigan. Kalamazoo subsequently merged with the Russell Playing Card Co. in around 1913 or 1914. Thereafter the “Smart Set 400” series continued to be published by the Russell Playing Card Co.
This beautiful deck features an oval half-tone photo of a theatre star on each card, many of them legendary names, along with their autograph beneath. The border artwork consists of a different coloured floral pattern for each suit. The back has a decorative panel with theatre masks.