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Published May 14, 2023 Updated May 14, 2023

Cards on Cards (E.H. Locker)

Artist Edward Locker’s view of London life in 1799, using every card in the pack as part of the picture.

1982 Germany Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik Edward Locker Caricatures Facsimiles & Replicas Add to Collection

Some packs are so unusual and so original that they defy categorisation. Such is the case here. This is a reproduction of a unique pack thought to be by Edward Hawke Locker (1777-1849) (see the signature and date on the Ace of Diamonds). The figures painted by Locker represent traders and other characters found in the streets and taverns of London in 1799, many in caricature. What makes this pack extra special is the inclusion somewhere on every card of the card it represents, hence “Cards on Cards” – a truly original idea at the time. On most of the court cards, a standard English court card has been placed in a top corner, whereas the pip cards form a part of each picture. The 9 of Diamonds depicts a Scottish Highlander piercing said card – the card traditionally known as “The Curse of Scotland”. The Ace of Spades even has the name of a contemporary maker (Gibson) on it. The original pack used to be in the possession of Sylvia Mann. The reproduction pack has square corners and the backs are blank. Published in an edition of 2,000 packs. See the box

Cards on Cards (E.H. Locker) published by Edition Leipzig, 1982 Cards on Cards (E.H. Locker) published by Edition Leipzig, 1982 Cards on Cards (E.H. Locker) published by Edition Leipzig, 1982 Cards on Cards (E.H. Locker) published by Edition Leipzig, 1982 Cards on Cards (E.H. Locker) published by Edition Leipzig, 1982

Above: Cards on Cards (E.H. Locker) published by Edition Leipzig, 1982. Printed by Spielkartenfabrik Altenburg, Altenburg, Germany. 52 cards + 58-page fold-out booklet (half in German, half in English) in drop-lid box. Size: 86 x 125 mm. © 1982 by Edition Leipzig.

• See the booklet

• Wikipedia: Edward Hawke Locker

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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