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67: Adverts and related material after 1900

The final page of material relating to playing cards from British periodicals.

This is the final page (for now) presenting material relating to playing cards and their production. It deals with 20th century periodicals from the same archive as the other two pages.


An advert for De La rue's playing cards and the game "Alice in Wonderland".


An announcement of a bridge competition and prize of two packs of Bystander cards.


A cartoon using De La Rue's court cards as a basis for photos of famous people of the day. As it’s over two pages, there were two scans in the archive from which this is taken, hence the book-like join down the middle.


Goodall's games are on offer.


An odd advert for cards advertising Fry's Chocolate: I don't understand the reference to A.W. Ford of Bristol, a name I've never heard associated with the production of playing cards.


But three years later a similar pack is being advertised made by De La Rue; an interesting reference to production figures.


The Goodall packs for Bystander's Fragments are advertised in these two years; note the list of titles produced and that they were not to be reprinted. This one is from 1917.


In 1920 The Sketch and The Tatler printed a series of coloured adverts for De La Rue's playing cards.


Rather more mundane adverts appeared in other papers and magazines. Goodall had been taken over by De La Rue by this time. Note that Gainsborough's 'The Blue Boy' was being used at this period: it was still being used by Waddington, right up until the 1990s, when it was printed in Belgium.

The Humorist published a black and white version of the coloured advert below from Britannia.

This version is from 1969-71, the brief period of The Amalgamated Playing Card Company; the 'Morning Flight' is from c.1930 in the wild birds series.


The hundredth anniversary of card-making in Altenburg was celebrated in an article in The Sphere.


The card game Sum-it was being promoted around this time.


From 1936 the first Pepys card game are advertised.

1936 : 1937 : 1938

Two adverts from December 1939 refer to the onset of war. The right-hand page discusses other makers such as Multum in Parvo.


Waddington cards are advertised only sporadically, but the following give an idea of the range of what they had to offer.


Early on (they started in 1922) they seem to have introduced a variety of bridge called Buccaneer Bridge. It was to be played with a 56-card pack with 'ones' in addition to the aces. I've never seen a pack of these: has anyone else?


An advert for some of their up-market playing cards with Kirchner and Barribal backs.

W2.1 bridge-size courts from the period


Three games from this year.


Waddington introduced Par Bridge in 1938, of which there is a short notice below. It had hands to play out on the backs of the cards and was also intended to help beginning learn how to bid successfully. It continued until at least 1947.


By the end of the 1950s the firm had introduced or reintroduced a number of different card formats: Zulu, Kon-Vex, Rondo, wide and slimline. Kon-Vex had been introduced for the Coronation in 1953.


Siriol Clarry's pack of the Four Elements was introduced this year. Here is part of a review of the cards.


As I said, there are not many actual adverts for Waddington's cards, but here's one from 1962; it had been in use since 1954! The prices are interesting and note the reference to Calypso.


The reaffirmation of the establishment of the Amalgamated Playing Card Company, a 50-50 enterprise between De La Rue and Waddington, initially established during the Second World War in 1942 after the loss of De La Rue's Bunhill Row factory in the Blitz, was announced in 1963. The acquisition of Grimaud and Simon is referred to.


Grimaud's Tarot de Marseille is advertised in the UK, probably for the first time.


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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2006 Benfiquista!


Licensed and sponsored product for the Benfica Football Club, Lisbon, Portugal, 2006.

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.

2019 Marie and Laurent’s Wedding

Marie and Laurent’s Wedding

Wedding invitation and thank you card in the form of playing cards. France, 2019.

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.

1986 Helmsley Hotels

Helmsley Hotels

Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.

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.

1930 Dondorf related ephemera

Dondorf related ephemera

A few items used for advertising or displaying Dondorf playing card products.

1910 C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.

2014 Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

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

2015 Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.

1920 Chocolate playing cards with scenes from World War 1

Chocolate playing cards with scenes from World War 1

An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920

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.

2021 Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.

2003 Official England Rugby Playing Cards

Official England Rugby Playing Cards

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

Beaujolais je t’aime …

Beaujolais je t’aime …

Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.

Gó Succo

Gó Succo

Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.

1965 El Al Airlines

El Al Airlines

Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines. The courts are named after Biblical characters.

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

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.



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