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74 Articles

Ken Lodge

Member since May 14, 2012

​I'm Ken Lodge and have been collecting playing cards since I was about eighteen months old (1945). I am also a trained academic, so I can observe and analyze reasonably well. I've applied these analytical techniques over a long period of time to the study of playing cards and have managed to assemble a large amount of information about them, especially those of the standard English pattern. Read more...

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Collectors’ Playing Cards for Sale

Some more interesting playing cards for sale.


My wife and I have recently started to offer a holiday cottage for rent.

72: The Ace of Spades

In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.

71: Woodblock and stencil: the hearts

A presentation of the main characteristics of the wood-block courts of the heart suit.

70: Woodblock and stencil : the spade courts

This is a presentation in a more straightforward fashion of the work done by Paul Bostock and me in our book of the same name.

69: My Collection

This is an archive list of my collection. I hope it will be of use and interest to others.

68: Playing cards in glass

My wife and I have recently commissioned a unique pair of stained glass windows for our home.

67: Adverts and related material after 1900

The final page of material relating to playing cards from British periodicals.

66: Adverts and related material 1862-1900

Some further material relating to cards from nineteenth and twentieth century periodicals.

65: Adverts and related documents 1684-1877

Here are a few early advertisements relating to cards from newspapers 1684-1759 and a number of later 19th century documents of interest.

64: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 2

A continuation of the development of the off-spring of the Paris patterns and a few examples of how the French regional figures have inspired modern designers.

63: The descendants of the French regional patterns: 1

A great many regional patterns were exported from France and subsequently copied elsewhere. Some of them became local standards in their own right.

62: French regional patterns: the queens and jacks

Continuing our look at the figures from the regional patterns of France.

60: Some less common Goodall packs, 1875-95

There are some interesting packs from Goodall in the last quarter of the 19th century.

58: Woolley & Co.

The firm of Thomas Woolley lasted for many years from 1836-1904 in several different guises.

57: China 3

A third and final look at some Chinese cards.

56: Number cards and Chinese Crackers

A brief look at the number cards used in standard English packs.

55: China 2

Some further American designs used in China.

54: China 1

Although many people would not consider Chinese cards worth collecting, the huge variety of court designs used by the companies based in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan over the years should be of interest to those who like to enjoy variation in court cards, jokers and aces of spades.

53: Some recent acquisitions

The following items are a selection of what has come my way over the past two to three years.

52: The Isle of Man

The Isle of Man has always been a tax haven within the British Isles and it has also had some interesting packs of cards.

51: Some modern variation

A brief survey of some of the current variation in the standard English pattern.

50: Joseph Reynolds

A presentation of my database of Reynolds cards.

49: De La Rue in detail

A detailed presentation of the variants of De La Rue's standard cards.

48: Ferdinand Piatnik & Sons

Ferd. Piatnik produced a very large range of cards with many different standard and non-standard patterns. This is a survey of his standard English output.

1900 47: Welch’s postcards and De La Rue’s redrawing

47: Welch’s postcards and De La Rue’s redrawing

There are a number of court card designs that have never actually been produced as cards. It's a shame some of them never were.

46: Henry Hardy, Henry French & Christopher Groser

A brief look at some makers of whom we know little.

45: New Zealand

There are three main NZ makers that I'm aware of: A.D. Willis, John Dickinson, and Strong & Ready.

44: Australia

Two early makers, Thomas and Sands & McDougall, used courts copied from those of the New York Consolidated Card Co.

43: The United States Playing Card Co.

The United States Playing Card Co. (USPCC) represents an amalgamation of all the major American card-makers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

42: Andrew Dougherty

Andrew Dougherty was one of the biggest American card-makers in the 19th century.

41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

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

40: More on Design Copies and Fakes

The issue of design copies needs further consideration and when does a copy become a fake?

39: Mixed Packs

A number of mixed packs appear for sale from time to time, but it's important to sort out what is meant by the term mixed. It is an issue that is not as straightforward as it might seem.

38: Peter Gurney and Other 20th Century Minor Makers

Gurney was not the only printer who went briefly into the playing card business during the twentieth century.

37: Late 19th Century Card-Makers and Problem Cases

After the Old Frizzle period and the tax was reduced to 3d per pack, from 1862 onwards, a number of makers started up, who hadn't made cards before, although they were part of the paper and pasteboard industry.

36: Minor Makers of the 19th Century

In 19th century England there were a number of makers who produced cards in relatively small quantities.

35: More Design Copies

Here I want to take another widely copied design and see how individual variation by the copier can take the original design through a lot of changes. I shall take the three USPCC designs: US3 (wide), US3.1 (bridge) and US4 (wide). To the best of my knowledge these are no longer used in the US, exce...

34: Design Copies

Some copies of the designs of Goodall and the New York Consolidated Card Co.

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.

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.

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.

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.

29: James English

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

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.

27: Cards at Strangers’ Hall, Norwich

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

26: Playing Cards: Rarity, Value, Dating, Sellers and eBay

Notions like rarity and monetary value are slippery customers and need careful handling. And there are still plenty of misleading descriptions on eBay - as well as looney prices!

25: More Standard European Cards

A further selection of European standard patterns including various redrawings.

24: The Fournier Museum Catalogue: Comments and Corrections

The Fournier catalogue is a very useful reference book, full of pictures of cards from all over the world, but especially Europe. Unfortunately, there are quite a few mistakes and unlikely assumptions in it.