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Playing Cards from United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Playing cards first arrived in England during the 15th century, but none have survived from such an early date.

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‘501’ playing cards by Alf Cooke 1960

‘501’ playing cards by Alf Cooke

“Five 'o One” playing cards, a version of the Dondorf Rhineland pattern, manufactured by Universal Playing Card Co. Ltd for export to Scandinavia.

100 Pipers 1973

100 Pipers

100 Pipers Scotch Whisky promotional deck, Waddingtons P.C.Co., c.1973. Includes a Tarot pack offer.

12: Goodall & Son

12: Goodall & Son

Charles Goodall & Son, 1820-1922 and beyond.

14: Back Designs

14: Back Designs

A few examples of the many interesting back designs.

16th Century French Playing Cards based on Illustrations by Gurney Benham 2006

16th Century French Playing Cards based on Illustrations by Gurney Benham

This pack of cards by Rose & Pentagram is said to be based off Pierre Marechal, Rouen pack from the 1600s, but they are actually copies of drawings by Gurney Benham from his book Playing Cards: Their History and Secrets from 1930.

17: Waddington, Including Some of Their Less Common Packs

17: Waddington, Including Some of Their Less Common Packs

John Berry's two-volume work on the Waddington archive and collection is a very comprehensive presentation of the history of the firm, but there are some items missing from it which I include here.

1893 Worshipful Company Pack 1893

1893 Worshipful Company Pack

Worshipful Company Pack manufactured by Chas Goodall & Son, 1893.

19: 19th Century Breaks With Tradition - Unusual Versions of the Standard English Pattern

19: 19th Century Breaks With Tradition - Unusual Versions of the Standard English Pattern

The centuries-long tradition of English court cards was subject to misinterpretation and in some cases a desire for individuality. Here are some examples of breaks with that tradition.

1960s Retro Styled Playing Cards 2014

1960s Retro Styled Playing Cards

Joe Snow was commissioned to create a pack of cards for Ridley's House of Novelties brand. The pack has been illustrated in a 1960s colourful style.

2: Still Collecting Playing Cards at 80

2: Still Collecting Playing Cards at 80

This is a personal account of some of my experiences collecting playing cards.

20: English Card-Makers 1761-1905

20: English Card-Makers 1761-1905

An initial survey of 19th century playing-card production. More detailed information appears on other pages.

2000 Pips Transformation 1999

2000 Pips Transformation

Peter Wood’s “2000Pips” transformed playing cards reveal the artist’s love of nature.

2000Pips Transformation Pack

2000Pips Transformation Pack

2000Pips Transformation Pack

27: Cards at Strangers’ Hall, Norwich

27: Cards at Strangers’ Hall, Norwich

There is a very interesting collection of playing cards held at the Strangers' Hall Museum in Norwich.

28: How to Analyze and Differentiate Playing Card Plates (De La Rue, Waddington and the Berlin pattern [französisches Bild])

28: How to Analyze and Differentiate Playing Card Plates (De La Rue, Waddington and the Berlin pattern [französisches Bild])

My interest in postage stamp variants led me to apply the same principles to playing cards.

29: James English

29: James English

An overview of the courts and aces of spades produced by James English.

30: The Not-So-Minor Cardmakers of the 19th Century - Gibson, Hunt & Bancks

30: The Not-So-Minor Cardmakers of the 19th Century - Gibson, Hunt & Bancks

A preliminary look at the card-makers operating in the 19th century.

31: The Not-So-Minor Cardmakers of the 19th Century - Part 2

31: The Not-So-Minor Cardmakers of the 19th Century - Part 2

This page continues the presentation of examples of the major English cardmakers of the 19th century.

32: The Not-So-Minor Cardmakers of the 19th Century - Part 3

32: The Not-So-Minor Cardmakers of the 19th Century - Part 3

A survey of the cards made by Creswick and Hardy, with a brief mention of De La Rue, Goodall and Reynolds.

33: Functional Changes to Playing Cards

33: Functional Changes to Playing Cards

The emphasis throughout my collecting has been on the design of the courts cards, and it should be pointed out that there have been some functional changes to cards, which have affected the traditional designs, especially in the 19th century.