I thought it might be helpful to other collectors to have an archived version of the catalogue of my collection with illustrations to aid identification and dating. It will only be for standard English cards, but this covers a huge variety of designs and in some cases strange adaptations of the traditional figures. To keep descriptions to a minimum and to avoid uninteresting repetition, I shall not always refer to some basic features of many of the packs, in particular, standard ASs and jokers and back designs, unless they are of particular interest. I will illustrate a design by Owen Jones, but not always the backs of De La Rue Crown packs or Waddington's No.1, as they tend to be from a restricted range of single-colour designs. Boxes I may show, again if they are of particular interest. There won't be room to illustrate all the courts of every pack, but I'll choose the most significant ones, for instance to show whether there are six turned courts or not. The reference numbers of the designs are those of my books: The standard English pattern (reprint, 2016) and The British playing card industry 1600-2000: the makers and their products (2017). Any cards marked with an asterisk in the descriptions are missing.
It's a sad fact that most collections have disappeared without any preserved catalogue when their owners have died or given up collecting. The individual items are sold off piecemeal, so it becomes difficult to produce anything after the event. Sylvia Mann's collection is a case in point. Luckily, Paul Bostock has had the forethought to upload (nearly) all his collection onto his website https://plainbacks.com, so collectors can use the resource for their own purposes. So, maybe this present list will be useful in the future.
In the hope that it will be more user-friendly than a simple numerical list, I list the items by maker. In cases where I have few packs by one maker, I list by country of origin. The lists will be as below. Each list is linked to this page in a pdf format, in the same way as the Owen Jones pages were. In some cases there is a link on the appropriate blog page. Individual lists will be updated from time to time, either on the original list or on the Miscellaneous page.
American PCC/Caterson & Brotz/Western/Whitman: click here►
Anderson/Porterprint/Jarvis Porter: click here►
Australian miscellaneous: click here►
Austrian/Bohemian/Croatian/Czech/Finnish/Hungarian/Polish/Russian miscellaneous: click here►
American miscellaneous: click here►
ASS (West & East)/Altenburger/VSS: click here►
Belgian miscellaneous: click here►
Biermans/Brepols: click here►
Blanchard/Gibson/Hunt/Bancks: click here►
British Playing Cards/Universal/Alf Cooke: click here►
Brotherton/Whitaker/Benda/Perry/Willis: click here►
Brown & Bigelow/Stancraft/RCI/TDC: click here►
Canadian miscellaneous: click here►
Chicago/Eagle/Knickerbocker/North American/Union (Longley Brothers): click here►
Creswick: click here►
Dougherty: click here►
Dutch, Scandinavian & Swiss miscellaneous: click here►
Richard Edward/Games & Print Services: click here►
James English: click here►
English miscellaneous: click here►
English wood block from smaller makers: click here►
French miscellaneous: click here►
German miscellaneous: click here►
Hardy: click here►
Hong Kong miscellaneous: click here►
Indian miscellaneous: click here►
Italian miscellaneous: click here►
Japanese/Thai miscellaneous: click here►
Legends PCCo/Expert PCCo: click here►
McEvoy/Llewellyn/Hall/Hall & Bancks: click here►
Mediterranean miscellaneous (Cyprus/Egypt/Greece/Israel/Malta): click here►
Mesmaekers/Van Genechten: click here►
Miscellaneous: Addenda, Corrigenda and Unidentified: click here►
National/Perfection/Standard/Bay State: click here►
New York Consolidated Card Co./Cohen/Lawrence & Cohen/Levy/Samuel Hart: click here►
New Zealand miscellaneous: click here►
Piatnik: click here►
Reynolds: click here►
Russell & Morgan/USPCC: click here►
Russell/Kalamazoo/American Banknote Company: click here►
South African miscellaneous: click here►
South American and Mexican miscellaneous: click here►
Spanish & Portuguese miscellaneous: click here►
Taiwan miscellaneous: click here►
Woolley/Darling/Williams: click here►
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...
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.
I suppose people collect for different reasons, rarity, quality, ingenuity of design, sentimental value... by Tony Hall.
Case Study: using detective work to identify and date a pack discovered in charity shop.
Patience Cards and their Boxes by Tony Hall.
I collected playing cards when I was in primary school, by Jan Walls.
This is an archive list of my collection. I hope it will be of use and interest to others.
“Is Card Collecting an Investment?” - an article by Rod Starling.
Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world.
“A Look Back with Hope for the Future” by Rod Starling
A brief look at the number cards used in standard English packs.
A brief survey of some of the current variation in the standard English pattern.
A detailed presentation of the variants of De La Rue's standard cards.
Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker. Chatting about the history of playing cards, uses of cards and collecting.
A collection of antique and vintage Cribbage Boards by Tony Hall
Dating is a particularly tricky but very interesting problem to tackle and there are many pitfalls.
A number of mixed packs appear for sale from time to time, but it's important to sort out what is meant by the term mixed. It is an issue that is not as straightforward as it might seem.
Notions like rarity and monetary value are slippery customers and need careful handling. And there are still plenty of misleading descriptions on eBay - as well as looney prices!
There are some unusual designs in playing cards, even the shape of the card.
A fascinating collection that was the basis of a lot of research that we still benefit from today.
This is a personal account of some of my experiences collecting playing cards.
The 'Joker' is believed to have been invented by American Euchre players who, when modifying the rules sometime during the 1860s, decided that an extra trump card was required.
Standard playing cards are based upon traditional designs and are used for card games.