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Playing Card Indices

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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.

41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

Dating is a particularly tricky but very interesting problem to tackle and there are many pitfalls.

A. Dougherty’s Triplicate Recreation 2014

A. Dougherty’s Triplicate Recreation

A recreated of the original 1876, No. 18, Triplicate deck by A. Dougherty by Michael Scott in 2014.

Corner Indices 1864

Corner Indices

Corner Indices were a major innovation in playing card production.

Imperial Club playing cards 1982

Imperial Club playing cards

Large index broad size cards by AGMüller using a special red ink suitable for casinos.

Indicator No.50 1894

Indicator No.50

No.50 appears at the bottom of the Ace of Spades and the cards have corner indices and miniature suit symbols in the corners.

Ivorette 1883


Dougherty was at the forefront of innovation, adding Best Bowers and then Jokers, rounded corners and various types of indices, or indicators, to his cards.

Managing cards without corner indices

Managing cards without corner indices

For many hundreds of years cards had no corner indices, were square cut and mostly made from card without the smooth, slippery surfaces we enjoy today.

Miniature Card Dominoes 1904

Miniature Card Dominoes

A miniature set of Goodall domino cards (5.9 x 3.5 cms) still in perfect condition.

Pigmy Playing Cards 1890

Pigmy Playing Cards

Pigmy Miniature Playing Cards

Samuel Hart, 1846-1871 1845

Samuel Hart, 1846-1871

Samuel Hart was a prolific manufacturer of playing cards who commenced business sometime around 1845 in Philadelphia. He had previously worked for L.I. Cohen.

Triplicate No.18 1878

Triplicate No.18

Dougherty first secured a patent for “Triplicates” in 1876, a novel type of indices with a miniature card in the top left-hand corner (and bottom right).

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Analysis of early playing card designs: origins, suit differences, standardization, technological advancements and key innovations leading to modern designs.

Woolley & Co: “Eurekas” 1885

Woolley & Co: “Eurekas”

Woolley & Co: “Eureka” playing cards with rounded corners, small index pips and decorative back design, c.1880-1885.