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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. About Ken Lodge →

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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.

23: Belgian Makers: Mesmaekers

Gustaaf Mesmaekers founded his business in 1859 in association with Louis-François Moentack, who left the business in 1862.

22: Belgian Makers: Van Genechten

Van Genechten started making playing cards in c.1840 and continued until the founding of Carta Mundi in 1970.

21: Belgian Makers: Brepols and Biermans

Brepols started making playing cards in 1826, although he had been in the printing trade since 1800. In 1833 the firm was called Brepols & Dierckx (the former's son-in-law). Biermans (1875-1970) was a relatively late arrival on the Turnhout playing card scene.

20: English Card-Makers 1761-1905

An initial survey of 19th century playing-card production. More detailed information appears on other pages.

19: 19th Century Breaks With Tradition - Unusual Versions of the Standard English Pattern

The centuries-long tradition of English court cards was subject to misinterpretation and in some cases a desire for individuality. Here are some examples of breaks with that tradition.

18: Belgian Cards: An Introduction

The card-makers of Turnhout were prolific in their output and inveterate copiers.

17: Waddington, Including Some of Their Less Common Packs

John Berry's two-volume work on the Waddington archive and collection is a very comprehensive presentation of the history of the firm, but there are some items missing from it which I include here.

16: European Standard Playing Cards

A brief survey of the different types of standard cards to be found in Continental Europe.

15: Perforated Cards, Metal Finish and Other Oddities

There are some unusual designs in playing cards, even the shape of the card.

14: Back Designs

A few examples of the many interesting back designs.

13: Some North American Cards

I deal with some of the US makers in more detail on other pages, but here is a brief introduction.

12: Goodall & Son

Charles Goodall & Son, 1820-1922 and beyond.

11: Some Cards From Sylvia Mann’s Collection

A fascinating collection that was the basis of a lot of research that we still benefit from today.

10: Playing Cards in Germany

The playing card manufacturers of Germany from 1900 until 1939 provide a complicated set of relationships that deserve closer investigation. Here are some of the standard English designs to be found.

9: Standard English Cards From Latin America: Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela

A continuation of the survey of designs used in Central and South America.

8: Standard English Cards in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil and Chile

A brief survey of the designs of English cards in South America.

7: Brands and Packs

The introduction of brands commenced during the late 19th century as a development of the old qualities: Moguls, Harrys, Highlanders and Merry Andrews.

6: Some Non-Standard Cards

I only collect the English standard, but I thought it would be a good idea to add some different types of card from time to time.

5: De La Rue

In December 1831 Thomas de la Rue was granted his patent for printing playing cards by letterpress.

4: Some Card Games

Yet another strand of the playing card world is that of card games, packs of cards usually designed to play just one game. The commonest are Happy Families and similar collecting games, and Snap, but the variety is as great as in ordinary playing cards.

3: 20th/21st Century Variants including some from China

I expect most collectors ignore cards made in China for export. It's true that many of them are close copies of American models, but there are also some interesting, even peculiar, redrawings of the standard English pattern.

2: Still Collecting Playing Cards at 80

This is a personal account of some of my experiences collecting playing cards.

1: Playing Cards and their History: An Introduction and some links to other sites

What was considered the first mention of playing cards in England is in 1463 when Edward IV banned their importation, so they must have been popular by then.