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131 Articles

Barney Townshend

Member since October 06, 2015

Retired Airline Pilot, interested in: Transformation Playing Cards, Karl Gerich and Elaine Lewis. Secretary of the EPCS. Treasurer of the IPCS.

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1930 Jägerkarte Nr.465

Jägerkarte Nr.465

Dondorf Jägerkarte Nr. 465 playing cards dedicated to the theme of hunting, c.1930.

1867 Englische Karten nr.190

Englische Karten nr.190

Dondorf Nr.190“Englische Karten”, 1867-1895.

1988 Karl Gerich No. 25: “Great Mogul”

Karl Gerich No. 25: “Great Mogul”

'Great Mogul' branded playing cards designed and produced by Karl Gerich.

1811 Metastasis Transformation Playing Cards, 1811

Metastasis Transformation Playing Cards, 1811

First published by S & J Fuller, Rathbone Place, London, September 1st 1811. This Nixon-Fuller deck was the first English deck now commonly known as transformation playing cards - the first use of the term "transformation".

1850 Fortune-Telling Cards

Fortune-Telling Cards

Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.

1850 Comic Question & Answer cards

Comic Question & Answer cards

Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.

Anonymous possibly Kaspar Traugott Knaut.

The maker is possibly Kaspar Traugott Knaut (1799-1881).

1906 Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.

1990 Karl Gerich No.22: “Rouennais”

Karl Gerich No.22: “Rouennais”

Karl Gerich’s hand-made design No.22: “Rouennais”, Victoria P.C.C, Bath (UK), 1990.

1809 H. F. Müller

H. F. Müller

Transformation playing cards by H. F. Müller, Vienna, 1809

1874 Thomas Walters Transformation

Thomas Walters Transformation

Hand-drawn transformation pack dated 1874 with the name Thomas Walters on the ace of spades.

1875 A Motley Pack

A Motley Pack

A book titled “On The Cards” or “A Motley Pack” by Garnet Walch (1843-1913) was published in Melbourne (Australia) and illustrated by George Gordon McCrae in 1875.

1809 Vincenz Raimund Grüner 1809

Vincenz Raimund Grüner 1809

Transformation cards designed and engraved by Vincenz Raimund Grüner, Vienna, 1809

Hand-Painted Transformation, c.1800-20

An early 19th century set of hand-painted transformation playing cards depicting contemporary scenes from Georgian society

1875 A Pair of Transformation Packs

A Pair of Transformation Packs

Two similar but fascinatingly different hand-drawn transformation decks by the same artist, c.1875

1880 Transformation c.1880

Transformation c.1880

Transformation playing cards hand-drawn on a pack manufactured by Hunt’s Playing Card Manufacturing Co Ltd c.1880

Carl Arnold Transformation

Transformation playing cards designed by Carl Johann Arnold (1829-1916), the court artist for King Friedrich Wilhem IV of Prussia.

1996 Karl Gerich no.23: “Beautiful Bath”

Karl Gerich no.23: “Beautiful Bath”

Beautiful Bath is a hand-made pack by Karl Gerich which was published in 1996.

1900 Jeu Moyen Age

Jeu Moyen Age

Quénioux believed that aesthetic feelings are the highest values: “C’est précisément cet amour de l’artisan pour le travail qu’il accomplit, la satisfaction intime qu’il en éprouve, qui ont donné naissance à tous les arts et qui ont fait dire que l’art est la joie dans le travail”.

1931 Hycrest Modern Royalty

Hycrest Modern Royalty

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.

1828 Imperial Royal Pack

Imperial Royal Pack

Imperial Royal Playing Cards published by S. & J. Fuller, London, 1828. The court cards show portraits of historical figures of England, Spain, Turkey and France.

1874 International Playing Cards

International Playing Cards

Designed by Reuben Townroe (1835-1911), the artist who designed the ornamented terra cotta work on the exterior of the Royal Albert Hall in London.

1925 Cocktail


Aluminium playing cards manufactured by Häusermann United Chemical and Metal Engraving Co., Vienna, c.1925

1935 Sikar


Publicity playing cards for the Dutch credit company Sitters & van der Kar. The four Aces and Joker feature abstract geometric designs in the style of Art Deco.

1935 Past-L-Eze Playing Cards

Past-L-Eze Playing Cards

On “Past-L-Eze” playing cards Kings, Queens and Jacks are no longer stodgy and conventional but pleasingly reflect suspicion, flirtation and worry.

Badische Spielkartenfabrik

Sports-themed playing cards published by Badische Spielkartenfabrik, Baden, c.1930

1850 Crowquill Transformation

Crowquill Transformation

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.

1895 Austrian Lloyd Steamship Company

Austrian Lloyd Steamship Company

Possibly one of the most beautiful decks produced for commercial purposes, this was printed by Modiano for the Austrian Lloyd Steamship Company of Trieste in c.1895

1900 Japanesque


Goodall’s “Japanesque” brand was used for stationery products since around 1880 but these playing cards were added to the range in around 1900.

1941 Submarine Cards

Submarine Cards

Lighting in submarines involved wearing red goggles to preserve night vision for viewing instrument panels. The goggles solved one problem but created another: the red suits on playing cards were not visible through the red goggles.

1933 Ritter & Cie, 1933

Ritter & Cie, 1933

A colourful re-working of the standard Anglo-American pattern in Art Deco style.

1892 Kimberley 1892

Kimberley 1892

William Kimberley applied for a patent in respect of his improved playing cards in February 1892 and his application was fully accepted that year.

1902 Kimberley’s Royal National Patriotic playing cards, c.1902

Kimberley’s Royal National Patriotic playing cards, c.1902

This edition has standard corner indices replacing the words King, Queen and Jack, and also contains a “Jolly Joker” depicting a lady holding an Ace of Hearts.

1934 Rummy No.210

Rummy No.210

Period cartoon images from the 1930s. The Kings are in fancy dress ready to party, the Queens appear ready for socialising whilst the Jacks are already on the go.

1930 Warburg Luxus Bridgekort

Warburg Luxus Bridgekort

“Luxus Bridgekort” was specially designed by Barbara MacDonald in a vibrant Art Deco style for Warburg of Denmark in c.1930, and printed by Universal Playing Card Co. Ltd (England).

1932 Matyó-Bridge No.50

Matyó-Bridge No.50

The court cards in this delightful Art Deco pack represent persons in various colourfully embroidered folkloric costumes. Designed by Hungarian artist Ilona Radnainé Szöredi.

1933 26th Yankee Division

26th Yankee Division

“26th Yankee Division Playing Cards” was designed by Alban B. Butler, Jr and printed by the Press of the Woolly Whale, New York, in 1933.

Paramount Film Stars

Promotional playing cards for the Paramount film company with film stars on the court cards.

1840 J.L. & J. Turnbull

J.L. & J. Turnbull

An ‘Old Frizzle’ Ace of Spades was assigned to them in 1833. In 1853 James L. & J. Turnbull were listed as ‘Makers of Playing Cards, Pasteboard, Paper Glossers and Pressers and Drawing Board Makers.

1933 Film Star Playing Cards

Film Star Playing Cards

Promotional playing cards for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film company with film stars on the court cards.

1977 Taro Okamoto

Taro Okamoto

The combination of shapes and colours in these playing cards creates a vibrant and eye-catching surreal effect.

1989 Merry Andrew

Merry Andrew

There are two Aces to each suit; one plain and the other with figures of a young woman and man, presumably Merry Andrew and his girl-friend.

1998 Brussels Euro Joker Club 1998

Brussels Euro Joker Club 1998

Brussels Euro Joker Club's 10th Anniversary deck, with artwork by Yvette Cleuter, was produced in a limited, signed and numbered edition of 400 copies.

1925 Walter Scharff

Walter Scharff

After some early experiences working in a cardboard factory and printing business cards, Walter Scharff established a playing card factory in 1923.

1989 Karl Gerich No.31: Triton

Karl Gerich No.31: Triton

“Triton”, KG31, was published by Karl Gerich in 1989 trading as Victoria Playing Card Co with double-ended courts based on the XP17 or “Bongoût” pattern of Van Genechen and other Turnhout makers.

Empire No.170

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.

1867 Birma Karte or Englische Karten

Birma Karte or Englische Karten

Based upon older ‘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!

Medicaer Spielkarte No.272

The deck has Italian indices (A, R, D, F) and was probably produced for the Italian market. The four scenic Aces are double-ended and illustrate buildings relevant to the history of the Medici dynasty.

1984 Pickwick


A series of fifty-five original designs (including frontispiece, back and Joker) for a Pickwick pack of playing cards, in which are introduced all the principal & many of the minor characters figuring in the great humorous classic.

1961 Ceska Graficka Unie AS

Ceska Graficka Unie AS

Playing Cards printed by Ceska Graficka Unie AS, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1890-1925.

1934 Anti-Religions


Clubs represent the Russian Orthodox church, Hearts Roman Catholicism, Spades Confucianism and Diamonds represent Judaism.