Since there is such a lot of material on cards in the archives I'm using, I'm starting another page of material produced after the change in the taxation system. A lot of changes in design were made during this period, in particular from 1865 to 1885, and many of them are advertised and reviewed in the relevant press.
This is the year of an international exhibition held in the wake of the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851. There is a brief report on the medal winners in the fancy goods category.
In the same year it appears that Bancks Brothers published the first edition of Cavendish on Whist, taken over later by De La Rue. The fifth edition by Bancks appeared in 1863.
A review of Cavendish on Whist with an interesting reference to McEvoy (misspelled in the text) and Edward Hall, the Bancks Brothers' grandfather and a comparison of cards from the 1760s with those of the 1860s.
There is also a discussion of the end of the one shilling duty and two of the new aces of spades produced by individual makers. Note the side-swipe at Owen Jones's effort for De La Rue!
In this year, too, a non-standard pack by a French artist is advertised and Mudie is advertising his secondhand packs, in particular those of Bancks and De La Rue.
The 1870s saw some rapid changes: at the beginning of the decade cards had square corners, mostly unturned courts, no indices and were thick. By the end of the decade cards comparable to those of the present-day and certainly to those of contemporary American manufacturers such as Andrew Dougherty had been introduced, even though the old types were still available.
The artistic efforts of Goodall were reviewed in an article dealing with "Art at the Card Table". Notice the other goods that are mentioned. Notice, too, that the emphasis is entirely on the back designs.
James English adverts are not very common, but here's one from the same review.
In The Athenaeum there is an advert for De La Rue's International pack, which I assume is the one with international royalty on the courts, as illustrated below.
In the same issue there are also adverts for various goods by Goodall including the game of Quaterne.
By 1877 changes such as round corners and indices are getting quite common. "Duplex" cards by Goodall are those that are double-ended.
Two reviews of Hunt's cards from the same year contain interesting information about the firm and their products.
In the same periodical there are reviews of Goodall's cards and some of those imported from America. Clear signs of what's to come!
A review of Goodall's cards including specific reference to their triplicate indices plus a review of Woolley's cards.
An advert for Hunt's smaller, round-cornered cards with decorative back designs.
Above: Hunt's Petite cards with H3 courts
There are several reviews of different makers' cards, of which I have chosen a couple. Despite the praise heaped on Hunt's cards the firm was nearly at the end of its life: the last cards with Hunt's name on were made by C.T. Jefferies of Bristol in 1883 and these were printed in red and black only. Notice that Woolley's Eureka indexed cards are referred to this year.
More reviews of Willis, Hunt and Woolley. Note that Hunt goes by the name of The Artistic Stationery Company and is based in Leeds.
A rare advert for Willis's Deakins Political Pack. This is for the third edition.
An early advert for De La Rue's Pneumatic cards with a herringbone finish. Such finishes were available from Reynolds some forty or more years earlier.
A review of the backs for the non-standard pack with mediaeval courts designed by Aymer Vallance and produced by James English (Peerless) in that year included black and white illustrations of them.
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...
Hotel Lena playing cards published by Bichik in Yakutsk in 2001.
Advertising for Mopenco, the Dutch Fountain Pen King
Samye malen’kie v mire igral’nye karty / The world’s smallest playing cards
Limited edition luxury playing cards by Billionaire Boys Club and Theory 11.
Licensed and sponsored product for the Benfica Football Club, Lisbon, Portugal, 2006.
Wedding invitation and thank you card in the form of playing cards. France, 2019.
Publicity items for a group of entertainers, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 1911.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
A few items used for advertising or displaying Dondorf playing card products.
A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
Playing Cards: A Secret History
This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Video by Art of Impossible. In this video you will get a short overview of the most important historical facts about playing cards and their history.
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Archaic Spanish-suited deck with 48 cards made in Toledo in 1584.
Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.
“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.
Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.
“Deal Winners” promotional pack for Dundas & Wilson law firm.
Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.
Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.
Playing cards were traditionally sold inside paper wrappers, which were usually thrown away.
Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.
Khanhoo by Charles Goodall & Son, 1895.
Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.
Investors Overseas Services, Ltd. (IOS) by A. G. Müller (Schaffhausen), c.1969.