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Published December 13, 2016 Updated June 12, 2024

53: Some recent acquisitions and corrections

The following items are additions and alterations to my collection, the rest of which is listed on page 69.

Charles Steer De la Rue Goodall Hall & Son Nordisk Willis & Co. Capital Triplicate Skat Add to Collection

When I get new items for my collection, I sometimes add images and information about them to already existing pages. As my whole collection is now online on page 69, it is easier to list new or replacement acquisitions on this page, so that I don't have to keep renewing the existing linked pages with just one or two packs. However, I have started to move some packs to the lists on page 69.

Although I've always focussed on full packs, or those with one or two cards missing, sometimes bits and pieces that come one's way pose interesting questions - and then it's worth keeping them until some better version comes along with more bits and more pieces. Such a couple of oddments came my way recently, one by Reynolds, the other by De La Rue.

I have always claimed that Reynolds never introduced corner indices in his cards, which makes the Reynolds oddments at the top (six out of nine cards with the same back design) all the more interesting. In fact, it looks as though some previous owner had access to print in some form. The style of the letters and numbers is similar to that used by Goodall (who took over Reynolds in the early 1880s) in their first type of index, but on the 3C there is a misfire with a smudged attempt top left and on the 9S there are three bodged attempts with a hand-written '9' at the bottom end. This suggests an unofficial, private attempt to modernize the cards rather than a production experiment in the factory.

The other three cards don't seem to match: a D6.1 JS with the small indices of the 1890s and two continental-style pip cards, all on thick card. However, they all have the same DLR back design (above), so what are we to make of that? On close inspection there are very slight differences in the faces and hands of the JS when compared to a normal D6.1 and the pip style is different from the ones De La Rue used with either the small indices or the larger ones. Is this an illicit copy?

099 USPCC Congress double box with Art Deco backs 'On leash' and 'Promenade', to replace the pack listed on the Russell & Morgan/USPCC list, AS US6i, one dated 1928, one 1929, gold edges.

179 Originally this number was allocated to an example of Hanzel Green Club, but I disposed of it, as it wasn't really anything like the standard English pattern. This one, one might argue, is little better, though there are some identifiable features, e.g. KD, JC, JH, though some are in the wrong suit, e.g. QD = QS and JS and JD are switched. Still I like it! Pyramid PCC with unusual courts, c.1926.

451a Anderson Tartan, P1.1, c.1935

521 Replacement: NYCC Squeezers, US6, AS: NY49, no reference to the brand on the AS, c.1885

692 Replacement: Mesmaekers for French Line, the court design was taken over by Carta Mundi, c.1965, pink back (not blue), *9H.

796 Universal: this is the pack with this number; the other pack listed is now a replacement for 1021.

806 Replacement: Liberty XUS9, similar to 084, c.1965

987 Replacement: Grimaud for David Westnedge and the André Robson bridge club, GDW13 with coloured faces. The courts have French-style pips and the number cards are side-squashed versions of those they use in widesize poker cards. c.2000

1010 Replacement: Waddington GDW12, AS: 3.1 (pendant, ( -), back design 226 from 1940. This design must have been used with Waddington courts (probably W3), so these must be post-War, as this pack has Goodall courts. There is one joker. c.1948

1021 Replacement: Universal New Bond for Woolworth, U1 courts in three colours, in open tax wrapper, in original packed order, c.1936

1106 An omission from my original lists: Hong Kong for South African Airlines, CUS4.2, KD has no hand, c.1995

1131 Another omission: China 800 Giraffe, CUS3.6, a less common redrawing of CUS3.1. The QS hold a bulbous sceptre and the attribute of the JS has been redrawn so that it looks like two spools, c.1975

1197 Another omission: China all-plastic, large index with CUS4.2 courts, c.2005

1210 Replacement: Hunt Type I, AS: A5 (65, no repair), c.1818. This pack has later pip shapes which are usually found in packs with HB1 courts (see 352 & 1947); the difference is particularly noticeable in the spades.

1235 Replacement: Stancraft Mini Playing Cards, Slip-Eze, US10, c.1965

1317 China 868 Goddess, CUS7, parts of design missing on some courts, c.2010

1367 Replacement: Clemente Jacques Cassino, large index, wide, c.1965

1381 Replacement: Now here's an unusual novelty. China all-plastic made from 30% plastic from the oceans (MOOP), the courts are the usual CUS7, but have been given smiles (just about!) rather than the usual grim mouths. Copyrighted 2021, but I bought them in 2023 at a gift shop in the nearby Suffolk town of Halesworth: they cost £10.

1396 I missed this pack off my Hasbro list on the American misc list. It's printed by Winning Moves, using the Waddington No.1 set-up with reduced frame on the courts and a special AS, 2000

1606 Replacement: ASS? for Philippine Airlines, copy of XUS3.1 turned, Carta Mundi pip cards, c.2010.

1625 Replacement: Camoin copy of US3 made to fit French-sized cards with French indices, pip cards and suit shapes. The Joker is based on Goodall's first joker design. No tax stamp. c.1920

1655 Replacement: Bancks HB1 & HB1.1 mix. Interesting mixed pack with even wear, so it looks like it occurred a long time ago. JD, 6/4C are by De La Rue (D5). The queens have small noses. c.1870

1665 Replacement: Universal De Luxe, U1 in four colours. This pack could be from the Wills gift scheme, as it is in a box also used by De La Rue for the scheme. The 1932-35 bridge score card is glued to the box.

1672 Replacement: Nordisk unusual copy of Whitman's US5.1 courts. This firm only lasted 1953-55.

1696 Replacement: Paper Products, copy of US4 courts on bridge-width cards, several pip cards upside down. c.1930

1779 Replacement: USPCC Aristocrat Club Special for Rio Casino, Las Vegas, strangely coloured US7 courts, Russell AS, cartoon head on QH, 'Rio' on 10s to aces, 2000

1808 Replacement: China Superfly for Europe, CUS9, c.2015

1842 Replacement: Waddington for WCMPC, GDW12, QD has two white flower centres on her sleeves, in gold cardboard outer box, in packed order with De La Rue control slip, 1962

1920 Replacement: China for John Lewis, CUS9.2 as 1383 but with normal frames, copy of USPCC AS, 2022

1925 Replacement: Now here's an oddity. Maspak all-plastic, possibly from India, all courts with their pip on the right, except the QS, who hasn't got one! All the kings and the QH are turned. ?c.1980

1938 Replacement: Handa Hombre pack, 40 cards. Odd courts with a lot of non-traditional features, with vague hints of Whitman's design, c.1950. This is one I've been after for a while.

1940 Replacement: De La Rue bézique pack, D6 on thick card, connected curlicues on KS, plain faces, round corners, c.1880

1965 Replacement: China Crown all-plastic, CUS3.1, strange brick pattern on KD, Piatnik joker, c.2015

1974 Replacement: New York Consolidated Foster's Self-playing Bridge, US6. *A/QS. These appeared in 1903, replacing Dougherty's Self-playing Whist cards. There only seems to have been one series.

2008 James English/T.I. & Co. advert pack with E2 courts. The AS has been altered at the bottom inside the garter, presumably after English sold off their card production, probably c.1902. I'm sure the later firm didn't last long in the market. This pack is far too good to end up as 'interesting singles'!

2009 Van Genechten Sport playing cards, Navy's, copy of NYCCC's turned courts, c.1900

2010 Piatnik 1350 Airport, PK2 courts, c.1965

2011 Anonymous, Belgian?, patience pack with courts derived from Goodall, index without suit sign on pip cards, c.1900

2012 Angel, Japan, all-plastic, copy of Whitman courts, one joker only, c.1975

2014 Whitaker BW2 with fancy pips and extra decoration on the clothing, red jacks have smaller frames, named Frizzle AS. The back design is one used by Van Genechten. c.1855. In a polished wooden box with pack 780.

2016 Willis Triplicate with WL2.1 courts. Sadly, this is incomplete (46/52) with four courts missing, but I've only ever seen a photocopy of one of these. The version with all the courts turned, including the kings, of which I know several examples, seems to be more common. c.1885

2017 Well, here's a boring pack, you might say! It is rather, except that (i) I haven't seen these courts on wide-size cards before (they're usually like the KH on the joker) and (ii) they were made in China! Look bottom left on the joker; it says the same on the box. The name Carta Mundi is written as one word on the AS. These are marketed as Royal Flush and sold at Tesco's. They cost £2 and I find it hard to understand the logic of having them sent half-way across the world to be sold at such a relatively low price. Of course, the same applies to the many even cheaper Chinese packs available all over the United Kingdom. What are Chinese workers paid? Incidentally, the standard size Royal Flush packs, also sold for £2, are made in Belgium. 2022

2022 Van Genechten for Reiss & Co., TR1.1, c.1880. I've only seen samples of these cards up until now, so a full pack is a real treat! The courts are double-ended versions of copies of Reynolds single-figure R1 courts, which are also found produced by Van Genechten and Brepols (see my pages on these makers).

2023 Samuel Hart, an unusual pack with gold on all cards (Dawson & Dawson NY31a). An attempt to turn the standard figures into real people with a couple of twists: the KS and KH figures have been switched and so too have the JS and the JH, though in the case of the JS, the figure is no longer in profile and he doesn't hold a staff (as the traditional JH does). There are alterations to the designs on the clothing, too. These cards are reminiscent of those by Van Genechten, though the Belgian makers sticks to the traditional postures in all the courts. I don't have any examples of the Belgian version, but below are four cards from a page of a sample book in the Turnhout Museum. (See also pages 19 and 22 for further images.)

2024 Hunt HB1, AS: A6 (99). *K/QS, *AD; KD has white back. The JH has no staff base on the right and the pips are later than those with AS A5. George IV garter aces seem to be less common than those with George III, which were used during the former's reign as well, and only three makers are listed with them in Berry. The last repair of the A5 Hunt aces is dated 1823 and the first repair of no. 99 is given as 1827; as this example has no repair mark, this suggests a date of c.1825. Compare with 1947.

2025 China Diamond, odd mixture of courts, CUS3.2/CUS5/CUS7, odd pips on 8s and 9s, c.2020

2029 A very cheap and unusable pack not by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland according to dxpo from WWII. XUS3.2, plain AS, joker. The JH is a grinning version of the JC figure. c.1944

2030 Prima cards. Copy of Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland version of XGD9 in bridge format but with differences in the drawing, pictorial aces and Dutch indices, but K not H, c.1945 (See also dxpo site.)

2032 W. Wheeler Type I, AS: A5 (62) with changed initial from 'T'. The blue is very dark, making it difficult to distinguish from the black. c.1821

2033 Wheeler (not clear which one) an illegal pack made for Sutton & Co. The Ludlow AC has been turned into the AS with no tax ace. Type I courts, *5C. c.1810

2035 T. Wheeler Type I with Type II red jacks, AS: A5 (77), c.1810. Apparently a genuine pack!

2036 Gibson Type I courts, AS: A3 (140; second repair). 32 out of 36 (down to sixes), c.1790

2039 Now here's a humdinger! This pack belonged to Dudley Ollis and it was always presented as an early example of Thomas Wheeler's work. This is how the auction catalogue described it. Well, it isn't. It's fake, but a very good one. It has crude courts that are based on those of Hall, a metal-engraved, counterfeit AS, gold edges and it comes in a pretty box. The AS has been produced illegally by a willing metal engraver, but the lettering is wrong and so are the numbers of the date on the Ludlow ace and the die numbers. The card isn't quite the right thickness and all the cards have been cut down much more than is warranted by gilding. Where these were made is anybody's guess and they were probably made around 1820-30. Nice!!

2040 Bancks HB6, full size as 716. However, these courts have grey rather than blue and the JC's sleeve has striations, not block colour. The JS has more decoration on his shoulder on the left. An interesting variant. c.1875

2041 Creswick CR1/Type III red jacks, AS Export Frizzle, c.1830

2042 Gemaco Jack Poker, own courts in a different make-up, five suits with an extra clover suit with altered US7 courts (copyright), double box, 1981

2043 Another tax-dodge! Possibly by Mesmaekers, as the face and beard of the KC are quite distinctive and compare with single-figure example I've got. The AS is metal-engraved, but whether it's a good copy or an original with alterations top and bottom is difficult to determine. It's an odd choice to go with double-ended courts, as the latter can only date from about 1850 onwards. I've given a date as c.1860, but it's very difficult to say, as the courts are different in style from any others I've got. *KH, but that's no great problem, as it's such an intriguing pack.

137 Articles

By 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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