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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Pashas

“Pasha” is one of Charles Goodall’s brands which first appeared in c.1898 and was retained until after the De la Rue takeover.

“Pasha” is one of Charles Goodall & Son’s brands which first appeared in c.1898 and was retained until after the De la Rue takeover in 1921. The artwork on the box is very decorative and features gold medals along with the words “Pasha Playing Cards” and “Made in England” and “Duplex Round Corners” along the sides

Note: “Pasha” or “Paşa” was a higher rank in the Ottoman Empire political and military system, typically granted to governors, generals or dignitaries. As an honorary title it is similar to a British peerage or knighthood.

Pasha brand produced by De la Rue, 1920s
Pasha brand produced by De la Rue, 1920s Pasha brand produced by De la Rue, 1920s

Above: Charles Goodall’s “Pasha” brand produced by De la Rue, 1920s.

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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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