The best information about Isle of Man cards is to be found in Mike Goodall's booklet covering 1863-1930. From very early in its history the island kept a measure of independence and never became part of the United Kingdom, retaining its status as an internally self-governing Crown dependency. This meant that playing cards were technically exported to the island. Whether there was a requirement to use an export garter AS I can't say, but by the Old Frizzle period there was a special export ace for the Isle of Man. It was unappropriated, so makers' names do not appear on it. Both Whitaker and Reynolds used the ace.
Special AS for the Isle of Man, 1828-62
After the end of the Frizzle period makers made cards that were designed specially for the island, most of them having pictorial aces. It is quite remarkable how many different makers made such cards, both English and foreign. The most common are those by Goodall and by Valentine. In Mike's book he refers to the latter as "Unknown British", but on the basis of the joker design (not all packs were sold with a joker), Valentine is the most likely maker of the cards, although they also had other non-anonymous packs with different courts. Here are the two types: what is interesting about the anonymous ones is that they are a complete mix up of Goodall-like courts with all the figures in the wrong suits.
Anonymous pack (Valentine 1):
The pictures on the aces vary from one edition to the next.
Named pack (Valentine 2):
Although there are references to Webb's Lounge on some of the packs and boxes, it isn't clear whether all the cards made for the Isle of Man were destined for Webb's. Some of the backs show insignia other than the island's coat of arms and motto. Here is a selection from two Goodall packs (top left) and four Valentine ones.
Other makers have no special back design and no reference to Webb's, but pictorial aces, e.g. Woolley, whereas others have a special back but non-pictorial aces, e.g. Brepols.
Above: Woolley, c.1895
Above: Brepols, c.1910
Among the less common packs are examples from De La Rue (an early example of c.1875), Van Genechten, an anonymous Belgian maker with a very close copy of Goodall's courts (the second pack illustrated on page 34), the Eagle Playing Card Co. Ltd, who imported packs from Bohemia, and the United States Playing Card Co. (though my example is anonymous, it can be identified from the court plates). Below is an example from the Eagle PCCo., c.1885.
Member since May 14, 2012View Articles
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...
52 selected views of Scotland by De La Rue (Waddingtons) for GlenAlan Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, c.1960s.
Publicity items for a group of entertainers, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 1911.
Cards made by John Waddington Ltd. for the Madras Club, Chennai (formerly Madras), India, c.1930.
54 different personalities from the city of Inverness published by the Highland Hospice.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme covers from 1956 to 2016 published by Winning Moves UK Ltd.
Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.
Celebrating the work of Andreas Vesalius in the quincentenary year of his birth.
Great Britains’s Olympic gold medallists from 1964 to 2004 published by the British Olympic Association.
Celebration of the work of David Kindersley, stone letter-carver and typeface designer. Published by the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge, UK, 2015.
Pack celebrating the rugby world champions of 2003. Produced by MMcardz.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
Hall & Son
Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.
Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.
Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.
PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History
Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith
We are deeply saddened by news of the passing of Anthony Rex Pitts (1940-2021).
The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts
Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany
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 published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.
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 MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11
Crazy People children’s card game illustrated by caricaturist and graphic artist Walter Trier, c.1950.
Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.
Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.
Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.
The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.
Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.
Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.
French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s
Counties of Britain by John Jaques & Son Ltd. c.1930.
Radio Banker by John Waddington Ltd for Marconiphone Co Ltd.
Jigstar film star card game by Murphy Games Ltd, 1936.
“Countries of Empire” published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1930s.