The World of Playing Cards Logo

Ormond Printing Co. Ltd

During the 1930s The Ormond Printing Co. Ltd produced playing cards for the Irish market with a distinctive ace of spades, joker and court cards. In 1935 the firm was acquired as a manufacturing facility for Waddington’s cards in Eire.

In January 1935 Waddington’s obtained a financial interest in Dublin by making a part acquisition of the Ormond Printing Company. This enabled the firm to extend their activities in Ireland, particularly by manufacturing playing cards and cartons in Dublin. A new Ace of Spades was introduced, used with Waddington’s standard courts and jokers.

box by Ormond Printing Co., c.1935-50

Ormond Printing Co. with Waddington’s courts, c.1935-50

Ross Castle dating from the fourteenth century, stands on a peninsula jutting into Killarney’s Lower Lake. These playing cards feature a painting of Ross Castle signed by travel artist Walter Till, and are presented in a green padded box with the Ormond Ace of Spades design printed on the lid above the legend “Made in Ireland”.

The court cards and Joker are those used by Waddington’s at this time, with six of the courts ‘unturned’.

Ross Castle, Killarney, playing cards by Ormond Printing Co., c.1935-50
Emerald Isle box by Ormond Printing Co., c.1960-70 Emerald Isle box by Ormond Printing Co., c.1935-50

Emerald Isle series

In the first example the cards feature an original painting of Blarney Castle, Co. Cork, with three sheep grazing in the foreground, signed by Walter Till. The court cards and Joker are the same as in the above example, with six of the courts ‘unturned’. The black box has a sliding inner tray.

In the second example (c.1960) the box has been re-designed and the reverse shows a colour photograph of Glengarriff Harbour, Co. Cork. Other packs show Clifden, Co. Galway. The court cards are those formerly used by Goodall & Son which by this time were being used by Waddingtons who printed these cards in their Irish subsidiary.

Emerald Isle series with Waddington's courts, c.1935-50

During the 1960s Waddington's discontinued using their own court card designs in favour of those of Goodall & Son, but retaining the same Joker and Ace of Spades. As a rule, two Aces of Spades were printed with each pack, one with the company name, the other without. Either the named or the anonymous Ace was used, probably depending on the clients' preference. The other Ace was often affixed to the box. In the 1960s Emerald Isle series they also did cards with photographic scenes on the back of: "Trinity College, Dublin", "Custom House, Dublin", "Ross Castle" and "Bunratty Castle, Co Clare".

Emerald Isle series with Goodall's courts, c.1960
Great Southern Hotels box by Ormond Printing Co., c.1970 Great Southern Hotels box by Ormond Printing Co., c.1935-50

Great Southern Hotels series, c.1945-c.1970

The first box lists the locations of Great Southern Hotels as: Parknasilla • Killarney • Kenmare • Galway • Mulrany • Sligo. Bundoran is added on the second box. Both the examples shown here show a colour photograph of Kenmare on the reverse. The court cards and Joker are to begin with standard Waddington's designs with six of the courts ‘unturned’. Later, around 1970, the former Goodall & Son court cards are used.

Great Southern Hotels series with Waddington's courts, c.1945-50 Great Southern Hotels series with Goodall courts, c.1960-70 Great Southern Hotels series with Goodall courts, c.1960-70

Advertising packs are also found with Ormond Printing Co Ace of Spades. Some Ormond Printing Co packs are found with an extra “Guinness is good for you” card inviting the holder to a guided tour of the brewery.

Advertising Pack for Gold Flake by Ormond (Waddington's)

Above: advertising pack for Gold Flake by Ormond (Waddington's) featuring the historic Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary. Courtesy Matt Probert.

Although Waddington's obtained a financial interest in the Ormond Printing Company in 1935 so that they could produce playing cards in Ireland, the Ormond Printing Company Ltd continued working under its own name and amongst other things printed the Jig-Saw Book shown here

Early Monopoly sets were also manufactured in Ireland by the Ormond Printing Company Limited when Dublin was part of The Irish Free State. It must have been made between 1935 - 1937 due to the Savoy Cinema property titles.

avatar

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator 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.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

1960 Souvenir Views of Scotland Playing Cards

Souvenir Views of Scotland Playing Cards

52 selected views of Scotland by De La Rue (Waddingtons) for GlenAlan Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, c.1960s.

1911 The Jovial Cards

The Jovial Cards

Publicity items for a group of entertainers, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 1911.

1930 Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Cards made by John Waddington Ltd. for the Madras Club, Chennai (formerly Madras), India, c.1930.

2002 Highland Hospice

Highland Hospice

54 different personalities from the city of Inverness published by the Highland Hospice.

2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme covers from 1956 to 2016 published by Winning Moves UK Ltd.

2010 Cape Wrath

Cape Wrath

Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.

2014 Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Celebrating the work of Andreas Vesalius in the quincentenary year of his birth.

2005 Team GB

Team GB

Great Britains’s Olympic gold medallists from 1964 to 2004 published by the British Olympic Association.

2015 David Kindersley Centenary

David Kindersley Centenary

Celebration of the work of David Kindersley, stone letter-carver and typeface designer. Published by the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge, UK, 2015.

2003 Official England Rugby Playing Cards

Official England Rugby Playing Cards

Pack celebrating the rugby world champions of 2003. Produced by MMcardz.

1705 Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne

Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne

“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

1850 Fortune-Telling Cards

Fortune-Telling Cards

Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.

1850 Comic Question & Answer cards

Comic Question & Answer cards

Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.

1824 Myriorama

Myriorama

Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.

1870 Transformation Cards for Christmas

Transformation Cards for Christmas

Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.

PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History

PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History

PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History

Sergeant-Major

Sergeant-Major

Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith

Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

We are deeply saddened by news of the passing of Anthony Rex Pitts (1940-2021).

Pepys Games

Pepys Games

The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts

J. W. Spear and Sons

J. W. Spear and Sons

Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.

1954 Ariel Productions Ltd

Ariel Productions Ltd

The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11

Crazy People

Crazy People

Crazy People children’s card game illustrated by caricaturist and graphic artist Walter Trier, c.1950.

1912 Panko

Panko

Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.

Snap

Snap

Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.

Panto People

Panto People

Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Hats-Off!

Hats-Off!

Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

1930 Zoo-Boots

Zoo-Boots

Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

XIXth Century

XIXth Century

The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.

French for Fun

French for Fun

French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s

Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain by John Jaques & Son Ltd. c.1930.

1930 Radio Banker

Radio Banker

Radio Banker by John Waddington Ltd for Marconiphone Co Ltd.

Jigstar

Jigstar

Jigstar film star card game by Murphy Games Ltd, 1936.

Countries of Empire

Countries of Empire

“Countries of Empire” published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1930s.