The World of Playing Cards Logo

68: Playing cards in glass

My wife and I have recently commissioned a unique pair of stained glass windows for our home.

My wife and I live in a quirky house, parts of which were a pub. Although it ceased to be an alehouse in 1914 (the outbreak of World War I plus the loss of the river-based wherry trade to the railways), the old drinking room is our kitchen with hatches to serve beer through. Originally these would have been hinged and had, according to those who knew it before we did, pink glass panels in them. These were allegedly broken by a missile hurled by one of the previous owners, so when we bought the property they were just openings in the wooden screen between the hallway and the kitchen. For many years we wondered whether we could put at least something in them, preferably glass again.

We have recently been lucky enough to get to know a glass artist, Neil Harvey, who also lives in Bungay and was really taken with the old playing cards I showed him. He could see lots of potential from his particular artistic perspective. In the end we agreed that it would be a great idea to put glass panels in two of the three openings with a playing card theme. We chose the king and queen of spades from De La Rue’s redrawn single-figure courts of the 1840s (D3) and, since there was plenty of room, some appropriate Owen Jones back designs as a lower panel on each. One of these is the design for Prince Albert of 1851 (under the king) and the other that for Queen Victoria. These are the windows as seen from the kitchen.

Above: stained glass by Neil Harvey.

The picture below is the view from the hall into the kitchen.

They complement the hand painted small glass panes from the 19th century above them, the very bottom of which can be seen at the top of the picture.

He also produced a small three-dimensional model as a test piece, which could be produced as a glass ornament. Since the picture was taken, I've added a coloured print of the queen to the back of the glass.

Right: the three-dimensional model.

There is a tenuous link between Bungay, where we live, and the Queen of Spades. Judging by some of the details in the Queen of Hearts as drawn by Tenniel for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, he used the De La Rue Queen of spades as a model. The equivalent Queen of Hearts from the same court set is rather too delicate-looking for the Carroll character. After the first print of the book by Oxford University Press was rejected by both Tenniel and Carroll, all further copies of the original version of the book were printed by Clays. Although they were based in London at the time, they transferred their business operation to Bungay in Suffolk and so many thousands of copies of Alice were printed here.

avatar

By Ken Lodge

Member since May 14, 2012

View 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...


Leave a Reply

Recommended

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

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.

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.

2000 San Playing Cards

San Playing Cards

Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.

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.

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.

1935 Müller: Richelieu

Müller: Richelieu

This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.

1906 Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.

1824 Myriorama

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

Sergeant-Major

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

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

Snap

Snap

Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.

Panto People

Panto People

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

Hats-Off!

Hats-Off!

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

1930 Zoo-Boots

Zoo-Boots

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