Playing Card back designs by Harry Rountree (1878-1950)
for John Waddington Ltd, 1930s
Harry Rountree was born in New Zealand and moved to England in 1901, when he was 23 years old. He settled in London, struggling to make a living as a magazine and book illustrator. Eventually, the editor of Little Folks magazine took him on, and this proved Rountree's big break. From 1903 on, he was one of the most popular and well-known illustrators in London. He illustrated the books 'Fairy Tales' by Dumas (1904), 'Alice in Wonderland' (1908), 'The Story of Wicked Tim' (1917) and many more. In 1919, he was the chief illustrator for comic magazine Playtime, the first succesful comic in half-tabloid format.