Nonarchs Playing Cards is one of Theory11's most popular decks, a cornerstone of their mission to "create the most breathtaking, luxury, designer playing cards". Their success is reflected by the pack being stocked in highstreet retailers such as Walmart and Target, as well as having multiple reprints over the years. Created in 2012, Monarchs was one of the first luxury decks to be produced, and is now seen as essential for luxury deck collectors. Considered by cardist and blogger Tim Silva an "instant classic" and a must-have.
Artist Curtis Jinkins (Neighborhood Studio>) says the guidelines for designing the deck were for it to have a "regal" theme and that the deck be "fit for a king". An open design brief. Jinkins notes that "the graphics had to be restructured to accommodate the theme" which was suppliemented by luxury printing techniques. Because it is a "casino quality" deck it was decided to keep the courts standard, so "magicians and dealers get instant recognition". The box received a lot attention during the design process as Jinkins points out "there were probably ten different iterations of the box front before the final design."
Theory11 have trademarked the backs "two snakes entwined around a vertical sword" design (see detail ) including the wordmark which says "regis de duobus malis, minus est sempereligendum", which in Latin means of two evils, the lesser must always be chosen, and the word regis which in Latin means king or monarch. Theory11 clearly take their brand very seriously. See the registered trademark
Theory11 says that "these are - by far - the best playing cards ever produced."
The deck was also featured throughout the film Now You See Me, where a team of talented illusionists and street magicians heist a huge amount of money from corrupt businessmen and funnel the money to audience members.
Theory11 focuses on the production of luxury decks for pop-culture franchises such as Harry Potter and James Bond
There are 56 cards in the deck: 52 playing cards, 2 jokers, 2 gaff cards. The gaff cards serve as advertisements for Theory11, with their slogan "the ultimate high-end luxury playing cards".
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
The Encarded First Edition is a limited edition of 2,500 designed by Paul Carpenter and manufactured by the Expert Playing Card Company.
Modern geometric designs by graphic artist Mathew den Boer, Canada, 2020.
Cards slanted to the right, issued to mark George W. Bush’s second term of office.
Playing cards inspired by mysterious symbolism of secret societies as well as a tribute to the National Playing Card Co.
Cyberpunk playing cards inspired by advanced science and technology in an urban dystopian future. Designed by Ivan Fortunov, 2021.
Sirocco, nautical themed playing cards by Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Co. and designed by Nathan Oser, 2020.
Monarchs luxury playing cards by Theory11, featured in the film Now You See Me.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
Luxurious Spanish-suited pack made by Alphonse Arnoult, Paris, France, c.1850.
Rules and regulations that guided prison life in America’s most notorious prison.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
A recreated of the original 1876, No. 18, Triplicate deck by A. Dougherty by Michael Scott in 2014.
Triangle Playing Cards by Michael Scott.
Luxury packs of cards have been produced since the 15th century, a trend that is very popular among collectors today.
Two Notched Construction Card Sets by Shackman & Co, N.Y. 1970s.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Spyscape espionage, surveillance and cryptography themed playing cards, 2018.
The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.
‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.
Jigstar film star card game by Murphy Games Ltd, 1936.
Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.
The Bristol Pack, an exhibition of playing cards designed by Bristol artists, 2005.
The Curator Deck with designs by Emmanuel José with suit symbols cleverly transformed into artistic designs.
Norwegian Troll Cards published by Aune Forlag of Trondheim, c.2000.
Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Warren Paper Products Co., Lafayette, Indiana, publishers of Built-Rite toys, games and puzzles.
Christmas Playing Cards published by Novelty Playing Cards, Syracuse, New York, 1986.
Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.
“Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945.
The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.
Caleb Bartlett patriotic deck (reproduction), around 1835-40.
Snap card game illustrated with animals, by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Roundup card game by Whitman Publishing, 1951.
Old Maid card game by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Crazy Eights by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Animal Rummy by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.