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Published May 02, 2023 Updated May 02, 2023

Unique Australian Animals

‘Unique Australian Animals’ educational playing cards designed by Lawton Ho, Australia, 2004.

2004 Australia Animal Arc Lawton Ho Education Nature & Environment Add to Collection

This educational pack, produced by Animal Arc and designed by Lawton Ho in 2004, depicts unique species of Australian native animals, including mammals, reptiles, birds and endangered species. Each card provides details of the animal’s common and scientific name, with facts and figures about habitation and characteristics (e.g. diet and size). Each animal is presented against a different coloured background: green for mammals, purple for endangered, blue for birds, and yellow for reptiles. The suits are non-standard and take the form of appropriate paw-prints, each of which are equated with standard suits: the mammal paw-print – spades; endangered species – hearts; birds – clubs; reptiles – diamonds. These additional elements enable a wider variety of card games, and several such games and activities are described on an accompanying leaflet. The pack includes 3 wild cards or jokers and comes in an attractive metal tin

‘Unique Australian Animals’ educational playing cards designed by Lawton Ho and produced by Animal Arc, Australia, 2004 ‘Unique Australian Animals’ educational playing cards designed by Lawton Ho and produced by Animal Arc, Australia, 2004
‘Unique Australian Animals’ educational playing cards designed by Lawton Ho and produced by Animal Arc, Australia, 2004

Above: ‘Unique Australian Animals’ educational playing cards designed by Lawton Ho and produced by Animal Arc, Australia, 2004. The pack includes 3 wild cards or jokers.


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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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