Although work was almost at a standstill throughout World War I because Belgium was cut off from its regular markets, in 1919 Brepols commemorated the victories of World War I with two new packs featuring hand painted portraits of Allied leaders (Kings, Presidents, Generals and Queens) on the court cards, along with relevant coats-of-arms, and famous battle scenes or events on the aces. These were exported around the world as remembrance of the time of sorrow and suffering.
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Rod Starling is one of the founding members of the 52 Plus Joker card collectors club. He has written many articles for the club's quarterly newsletter, Clear the Decks. His collection still encompasses both foreign and American decks. Rod has also authored a book titled The Art and Pleasures of Playing Cards.
Also by Rod Starling
In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.
Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.
Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.
Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.
Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America by Heraclio Fournier, 1992.
Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.
“Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945.
Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.
Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.
Renovation 2.000 playing cards with special courts designed by Jean Hoffmann.
Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française 1789–1989 created by Christian Offroy.
Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.
Inspector card game published by W F Jackson & Sons, 1940s.
Spy card game published by Valentine’s Games, c.1915.
Sister Susie Snap published by Valentine & Sons Ltd, c.1915.
Who’s Who or Food for Thought, a wartime card game, c.1939.
The Woman’s Hour playing cards published by David Westnedge, 1996.
The Civil War Deck designed by Jackson Robinson, 2017.
Facsimile of patriotic 1878 Tyrolean playing cards published by Piatnik in 1992.
“Atouts de la Vie” wartime card game created by Madame Lucien Willemetz, c.1940.
Hand-made playing cards by French prisoners of war in Porchester Castle, Hampshire, c.1796.
Safety First card game embodying the Kerb Drill, published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, 1940s.
Wartime Snap, a memoir of past times, c.1941.
World Leaders Snap published around WW2, c.1940.
“Leipziger Skat-Karte” depicting scenes from the Leipzig Industry and Trade Exhibition designed by Arthur Lewin, 1897.
Wizard of Oz card game published by Pepys, 1940,
Queen’s Silver Jubilee playing cards designed by Susan Rae for John Wadddington Ltd, 1977
“Jeu des Quatre Saisons de l’An II” facsimile of French Revolution deck originally published by J. B. Debeine (Reims) 1793.
“Jeu des Drapeaux” commemorating Napoleon’s greatest battles, c.1816.
“Naked Truth” Playing Politics with caricatures by Jason Pratt, 1997
“Jungle Parties” or “Playing Politics '87” designed & drawn by Patrick Cuenot.
“Altenburger Bauerntrachten” commemorating 150 years of playing cards from Altenburg, designed by Andreas Wachter, 1982.
Churchill ‘Walking with Destiny’ playing cards published by the Imperial War Museum.
“Mapit” war map card game published by Geographia Ltd, 55 Fleet Street, London E.C., c.1940s.
Deck created by Matéja celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Napoleon (1769-1969)
Aleister Crowley Tarot - Crowley and Lady Freda Harris worked on the illustrations between 1938 and 1943
Photographic playing cards - each face having an "art study" of a female nude, Mayall Press, Stockwell, London, c.1946.
A two-pack patience set produced by Thomas De la Rue on behalf of the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund in 1914.
In 1943 a pack of ‘anti-fascist’ playing cards was designed by Vasiliy Andrianovich Vlasov mocking the rulers of Germany and the Axis powers.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider 20 Years Commemorative Deck, 2016.