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Published June 02, 2016 Updated March 22, 2022

50: Joseph Reynolds

A presentation of my database of Reynolds cards.

United Kingdom Reynolds

Joseph Reynolds was apprenticed to Hunt in 1804; his first AS was registered in 1809 when he set up as a separate business. In 1828 he was joined by his two sons, so all Old Frizzle aces have Reynolds & Sons on them. Although his firm fell behind many of the others in the 1870s (perhaps having something to do with Joseph's old age and then death), he seems to have been an innovator in many ways. He claimed to have been the first to produce decorative back designs, aside from the overall patterns that a number of makers used, when in 1831 he produced a pack commemorating the coronation of William IV. The decoration was in gold on white or pink and predates Thomas de la Rue's experiments with gold by a few months. He also experimented with rounding the corners of the cards as early as 1848 and in 1851 took out a patent for his designs with two different solutions, one with edges like a series of semicircular indentations, which look rather like stamp perforations) and the other with concave sides, which he referred to as lozenge-shaped. He was one of the earliest makers to introduce bézique in c.1865, which was always spelled bésique on his boxes, markers and booklets. By the 1880s the ailing company went into administration and was bought by Goodall in or before 1884. By then the firm was renamed Reynolds & Co. and packs can be found with either Reynolds or Goodall courts. Any indexed packs had Goodall courts; I know of no Reynolds courts with indices.

Hardly surprisingly, since he was apprenticed to Hunt, his first courts were of wood-block Type I; by the Old Frizzle period he had redrawn his courts in the style of Type III, though the old Type I courts were still being used up in the early Frizzle period.

For William IV [1517]

Double-ending was applied to the Type III courts, possibly as early as 1850, but the designs were recut, not stuck together from two existing head ends. In the Old Frizzle period, too, the single-figure courts were redesigned into a house style, R1, which were used into the 1880s, as there are packs with a Reynolds & Co. AS.

The double-ended wood-block courts were designated Type IIIc, but since they are specific to Reynolds, it might be better to reclassify them as R3. They were used in the early post-Frizzle period, too, as evidenced by the pack below with their own AS. This was a re-issue of the Prince of Wales pack originally designed in c.1831 for William IV (see [1517] above), in this case for Victoria's eldest son, Bertie, the then Prince of Wales, who became Edward VII. This pack was advertised from 1862-64 (at least).

For Prince Edward, c.1863 [1838]

Reynolds is one of the makers who used the Isle of Man Export Frizzle and even anonymous Frizzles.

The raised back design on 1594 was called Figured Satin (see below) and is also found with Type III courts.

Here's an interesting glimpse into the prices and trade-names of their cards in the 1850s. The pink and gold back is for the Gold Enamelled series; the bottom right card tells us that High Moguls, Harrys and Andrews have similar patterns, are of superior quality and cost 17/- per dozen packs.

[291] Reynolds & Co. with Goodall G5 courts, c.1885

Double-ended courts were introduced by 1863 (I've never seen a double-ended Reynolds pack with R2 courts and an Old Frizzle AS), and a toy pack was introduced in 1862.

For a list of my Reynolds packs, which is slightly revised from the illustrations above, click this link

For further information on Reynolds, see pages 20, 30, 32 or WoPC.


By Ken Lodge

Member since May 14, 2012

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​I'm Ken Lodge and have been collecting playing cards since I was about eighteen months old (1945). I am also a trained academic, so I can observe and analyze reasonably well. I've applied these analytical techniques over a long period of time to the study of playing cards and have managed to assemble a large amount of information about them, especially those of the standard English pattern. Read more...

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1970 Grand Slam

Grand Slam

Limited edition gift set issued to mark the American Bicentennial, 1776-1976, produced by John Waddington Ltd and the Bristol Pottery for the British American Bicentenary Group, 1970.

1975 Waddingtons Nursery Rhymes

Waddingtons Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhyme playing cards by Waddingtons, Leeds, UK, 1975.

2001 South Park Playing Cards

South Park Playing Cards

South Park characters and famous one-liners, by Carta Mundi for Hasbro Int. Inc., 2001.

1980 Pentacards


A five-suited set of playing cards published by Fleet and Case Games Ltd., Rainham, Kent, UK, c.1980.

1960 Souvenir Views of Scotland Playing Cards

Souvenir Views of Scotland Playing Cards

52 selected views of Scotland by De La Rue (Waddingtons) for GlenAlan Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, c.1960s.

1911 The Jovial Cards

The Jovial Cards

Publicity items for a group of entertainers, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 1911.

1930 Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Cards made by John Waddington Ltd. for the Madras Club, Chennai (formerly Madras), India, c.1930.

2002 Highland Hospice

Highland Hospice

54 different personalities from the city of Inverness published by the Highland Hospice.

2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme covers from 1956 to 2016 published by Winning Moves UK Ltd.

2010 Cape Wrath

Cape Wrath

Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.

2014 Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Celebrating the work of Andreas Vesalius in the quincentenary year of his birth.

2005 Team GB

Team GB

Great Britains’s Olympic gold medallists from 1964 to 2004 published by the British Olympic Association.

2015 David Kindersley Centenary

David Kindersley Centenary

Celebration of the work of David Kindersley, stone letter-carver and typeface designer. Published by the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge, UK, 2015.

2003 Official England Rugby Playing Cards

Official England Rugby Playing Cards

Pack celebrating the rugby world champions of 2003. Produced by MMcardz.

1705 Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne

Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne

“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

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.

1824 Myriorama


Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.

1870 Transformation Cards for Christmas

Transformation Cards for Christmas

Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.

Playing Cards: A Secret History

Playing Cards: A Secret History

Playing Cards: A Secret History



Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith

Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

We are deeply saddened by news of the passing of Anthony Rex Pitts (1940-2021).

Pepys Games

Pepys Games

The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts

J. W. Spear and Sons

J. W. Spear and Sons

Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.

1954 Ariel Productions Ltd

Ariel Productions Ltd

The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11

1950 Crazy People

Crazy People

Crazy People children’s card game illustrated by caricaturist and graphic artist Walter Trier, c.1950.

1912 Panko


Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.



Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.

Panto People

Panto People

Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.



Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

1930 Zoo-Boots


Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

1875 XIXth Century

XIXth Century

The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.

1930 French for Fun

French for Fun

French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s