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Published December 07, 2010 Updated December 07, 2022

Swastika designs

Swastika design playing cards by De La Rue, c.1925.

United Kingdom De la Rue Goodall Swastika Symbols Add to Collection

A swastika often appeared on greeting cards, birthday cards and even playing cards in the years before it became associated with the German Nazi party during the 1930s and acquired sinister connotations. Until then it was seen as symbolising good luck or anything auspicious. It has been found on artefacts since before Neolithic times.

Swastika design playing cards by De La Rue, c.1925Swastika design playing cards by De La Rue, c.1925 Swastika design playing-cards by De La Rue, c.1925 Swastika design playing-cards by Chas Goodall & Sons, c.1925

Above: Swastika design playing cards manufactured by De La Rue & Co., mid-to-late 1920s, featuring the earlier version of the De La Rue Joker as a double-ended jester with a bauble. The swastika is/was a good luck symbol and it appears facing either direction. Packs with swastikas are also known to have been made for Kendal Milne, an up-market department store in Manchester. Several fortune-telling packs have a swastika on them somewhere - including the Subject card of the Goodall Rameses pack. Thanks to Ken Lodge for comments. Images courtesy David Manners and Robert Cooper.

Right: boxed set of playing cards with swastika designs on the reverse manufactured by Chas Goodall & Sons around the same period. Image courtesy Sandra Ekelund.

Below: the inside of the lid of a dual-deck of cards produced by Thomas De La Rue (with extra Goodall ace of spades) with a swastika design, c.1934. The box is unbranded, gilt edged cards. Images courtesy Matt Probert.

inside of the lid of a box produced by Thomas De La Rue with a swastika design, c.1934 Thomas De La Rue (with extra Goodall ace of spades), c.1934
Score cards by Chas Goodall & Sons, c.1925

Above: from the collection of Tony Hall.

Diana Vernon on a white horse, 1930s

Above: Diana Vernon on a white horse, 1930s. Courtesy David Watson.

Goodall's Linette playing cards with small swastika on back, 1930s

Above: Goodall's Linette playing cards with horseshoes and a small swastika on back, 1930s. Courtesy William Hammick.

NOTE: in 1921 Charles Goodall & Co. were absorbed by De La Rue. The Goodall plant in Camden Town became a subsidiary of De la Rue and their well-known brand names were maintained by De la Rue.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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