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Shipping

A survey of modern Shipping advertising playing cards

Before the invention of the aeroplane travel by sea was much more common than it is today. First class travel was provided by cruise liners steaming between Europe and America, Africa and Australasia, third class travel provided to passengers not requiring any semblance of luxury by freight service, ferries still provide short-haul travel over water ways both within countries and between continents. Traditionally these shipping lines have sold souvenir decks of playing cards, both representing the shipping line such as Cunard, Manchester Line, Pacific and Orient (P & O), White Star or Union Castle and also the individual cruise ships such as the famous Queen Elizabeth 2. These souvenir playing cards were formerly made by leading names such as Waddington’s and De La Rue, however, during the later part of the 20th century decks were produced in Belgium, Hong Kong and China.

CREDITS: all images and text courtesy Matt Probert, who writes: "I get most of my decks from flea markets and car boot sales for 50p a deck. I rummage around and rescue old decks for a few pence. Occasionally I splash out a few quid on a deck, but I cannot justify paying more. This is a good way to start or expand a hobby."

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By Matt Probert

Member since March 02, 2012

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I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.

Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.

Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.

I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.


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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.

1977 Algarve playing cards

Algarve playing cards

Kings and Queens of Portugal between 1185 - 1279. by V. de J.J. Nunes , Lisbon, Portugal, 1977.

2000 I L♥ve Turkey

I L♥ve Turkey

Colour photographs of Turkey, published by Sel Reklam, Antalya, Turkey, c.2000.

1986 Helmsley Hotels

Helmsley Hotels

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

2010 Cape Wrath

Cape Wrath

Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.

1910 C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

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

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.

2002 Carte da Gioco Toscana

Carte da Gioco Toscana

Carte da Gioco Toscana souvenir deck, 2002.

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

2017 Romȃnia Playing Cards

Romȃnia Playing Cards

Playing cards featuring traditional folk costumes from Romania.

1985 Garuda Indonesia Airline

Garuda Indonesia Airline

Souvenir pack from Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, c.1985.

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.

2000 Martinique

Martinique

Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.

2015 Paintings from Bulgaria

Paintings from Bulgaria

Fifty-five paintings of Bulgaria published as “Sense of Bulgaria” by Land of Roses Ltd, Bulgaria, c.2015.

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.

1975 San Marino Souvenir

San Marino Souvenir

San Marino stamp designs combined with photographic views by La Fotometalgrafica Emiliana, c.1975.

Annapurna

Annapurna

Annapurna playing cards produced and published by Himalayan MapHouse, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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.

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.

2011 Polska

Polska

Polska with artwork by Katarzyna Tomala & Krzysztof Korzeniak, 2011.

Havermout Kwartetspel

Havermout Kwartetspel

“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.

Werbung die Sticht

Werbung die Sticht

“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.

1920 Periquito y Tontín Dominoes

Periquito y Tontín Dominoes

Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.

2012 Dundas & Wilson Deal Winners

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“Deal Winners” promotional pack for Dundas & Wilson law firm.

Happy Gas Families

Happy Gas Families

Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.

1989 My Goodness my Guinness

My Goodness my Guinness

Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.

Hamm’s Beer

Hamm’s Beer

Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.

Ethiopian

Ethiopian

Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.

1999 Sapra Studio Original

Sapra Studio Original

Sapra Studio Original playing cards featuring wild animals of S Africa, 1999.

1988 Seefahrers II

Seefahrers II

‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.

Brazil Pictorial Aces

Brazil Pictorial Aces

Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.

1934 Dynastie Royale de Belgique

Dynastie Royale de Belgique

Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.

Nationale-Nederlanden

Nationale-Nederlanden

Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.

Investors Overseas Services

Investors Overseas Services

Investors Overseas Services, Ltd. (IOS) by A. G. Müller (Schaffhausen), c.1969.

Gibbs Happy Families

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Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.

1950 Electric Snap

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Electric Snap by the South Wales Electricity Board, 1950s.

1989 French Revolution

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Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française 1789–1989 created by Christian Offroy.