The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published March 28, 2019 Updated March 02, 2023

68: Playing cards in glass

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

United Kingdom De la Rue Neil Harvey Art & Design Courts Ephemera Stained-Glass Add to Collection

My wife and I live in a quirky house, parts of which were a pub. Although it ceased to be an alehouse in 1914 (the outbreak of World War I plus the loss of the river-based wherry trade to the railways), the old drinking room is our kitchen with hatches to serve beer through. Originally these would have been hinged and had, according to those who knew it before we did, pink glass panels in them. These were allegedly broken by a missile hurled by one of the previous owners, so when we bought the property they were just openings in the wooden screen between the hallway and the kitchen. For many years we wondered whether we could put at least something in them, preferably glass again.

We have recently been lucky enough to get to know a glass artist, Neil Harvey, who also lives in Bungay and was really taken with the old playing cards I showed him. He could see lots of potential from his particular artistic perspective. In the end we agreed that it would be a great idea to put glass panels in two of the three openings with a playing card theme. We chose the king and queen of spades from De La Rue’s redrawn single-figure courts of the 1840s (D3) and, since there was plenty of room, some appropriate Owen Jones back designs as a lower panel on each. One of these is the design for Prince Albert of 1851 (under the king) and the other that for Queen Victoria. These are the windows as seen from the kitchen.

Above: stained glass by Neil Harvey.

The picture below is the view from the hall into the kitchen.

They complement the hand painted small glass panes from the 19th century above them, the very bottom of which can be seen at the top of the picture.

He also produced a small three-dimensional model as a test piece, which could be produced as a glass ornament. Since the picture was taken, I've added a coloured print of the queen to the back of the glass.

Right: the three-dimensional model.

There is a tenuous link between Bungay, where we live, and the Queen of Spades. Judging by some of the details in the Queen of Hearts as drawn by Tenniel for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, he used the De La Rue Queen of spades as a model. The equivalent Queen of Hearts from the same court set is rather too delicate-looking for the Carroll character. After the first print of the book by Oxford University Press was rejected by both Tenniel and Carroll, all further copies of the original version of the book were printed by Clays. Although they were based in London at the time, they transferred their business operation to Bungay in Suffolk and so many thousands of copies of Alice were printed here.

avatar
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 →


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Moguls, Highlanders and Merry Andrews

Moguls, Highlanders and Merry Andrews

Discover the historic origins and evolution of card naming and quality designations like ‘Moguls’ an...

1875 Hand-drawn transformation cards, c1875

Hand-drawn transformation cards, c1875

A complete set of hand-drawn transformation cards from c1875, using a standard De La Rue pack.

Classification of Numeral Card Designs in French-suited packs

Classification of Numeral Card Designs in French-suited packs

The classification of numeral cards in French-suited packs, covering various pip designs in over 400...

The Douce Collection

The Douce Collection

The Douce Collection of playing cards in the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

The Henry Hart Puzzle

The Henry Hart Puzzle

Explore the intricate history and unique design variations of Henry Hart's playing cards, tracing th...

Playing Card Research Archives maintained by The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards

Playing Card Research Archives maintained by The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards

The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards maintains an extensive archive of materials from n...

1983 The Art of Erté

The Art of Erté

Luxury playing cards displaying artwork by Erté, published in 1983 by Sobranie of London.

2006 The Chamber of 52 Cards

The Chamber of 52 Cards

Playing cards published by Peter Wood as a tribute to the rock band Genesis.

1675 English cards from the reign of Charles II

English cards from the reign of Charles II

This article explores a historic pack of English playing cards from circa 1675, likely used by King ...

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Analysis of early playing card designs: origins, suit differences, standardization, technological ad...

Portrait Playing Cards

Portrait Playing Cards

Portrait playing cards, featuring realistic drawings of people on the court cards instead of traditi...

1961 Sweetule Natural History cards

Sweetule Natural History cards

Small cards featuring natural history subjects, given away with packets of sweet cigarettes.

1875 Lend Me Five Shillings

Lend Me Five Shillings

or “Her Majesty’s Privy Purse” - a merry round-the-table game published by D. Ogilvy.

1875 Laughing Made Easy

Laughing Made Easy

a Victorian card game published by D. Ogilvy.

2002 Classic Card Games for Kids

Classic Card Games for Kids

A boxed set of playing cards, Happy Families and an alphabet pack with rules for 22 games.

1904 So-Lah – A Game of Music

So-Lah – A Game of Music

An early 20th century domino-type musical card game by Goodall.

2018 Marmite

Marmite

Fifty-Four images celebrating a UK savoury spread, that has been around one hundred and twenty two y...

1877 Word Making and Word Taking

Word Making and Word Taking

How crossword and spelling games became popular.

2021 Film Noir

Film Noir

A deck of 55 cards, celebrating hard boiled heroes, wise-cracking women, mean streets, guns and gums...

2016 Science Fiction

Science Fiction

A deck of 55 cards, celebrating a time when Science Fiction truly was, Science Fiction.

2004 The Beatles playing cards

The Beatles playing cards

Two packs featuring photos of The Beatles issued by the same publisher in 2004 and 2005.

1991 Costume Playing Cards

Costume Playing Cards

Four centuries of costumes from the Costume Court at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

2020 Commoners playing cards

Commoners playing cards

Created by Ian Cumpstey dedicated to the common land and the countryside.

2019 Liber Ludorum

Liber Ludorum

Liber Ludorum playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey in the insular style, United Kingdom, 2019.

2018 Pike and Clover playing cards

Pike and Clover playing cards

Pike and Clover playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey, Cumbria, UK, 2018.

2023 Inglewood Hunting Deck

Inglewood Hunting Deck

Inglewood Hunting Deck created by Ian Cumpstey, United Kingdom, 2023.

2010 Pin-Ups

Pin-Ups

A deck of 55 cards celebrating a golden age of cheeky, naughty, bold and curvy ladies in film.

2008 Classic Movie Posters

Classic Movie Posters

A deck of 55 cards presenting vintage classic movies and their stars.

2014 That’s Entertainment

That’s Entertainment

A deck of 55 cards celebrating 20th Century vaudeville, musicals and cabaret.

1981 British Monarchs

British Monarchs

Commemorating the royal wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer on the 29th

2005 Rock & Pop Legends

Rock & Pop Legends

Stunning photos of a selection of US and UK music artists.

2004 The Beatles • Yellow Submarine

The Beatles • Yellow Submarine

A colourful deck celebrating the 1968 animated feature film based on the Lennon/McCartney song of th...

1985 Paco Lobo

Paco Lobo

Highly original and striking designs by Paco Lobo for the fashion house of the same name.

1999 Dutch Court playing cards

Dutch Court playing cards

Games & Print Services’ version of the Dutch pattern.

2013 Past Masters’ Association Presentation Pack

Past Masters’ Association Presentation Pack

The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards Past Masters’ Association Presentation Pack, 2013....

The Search for New Games in the late 19<sup>th</sup> century

The Search for New Games in the late 19th century

A few new games survived and are still around today; most came and went and are only witnessed in th...

1904 Miniature Card Dominoes

Miniature Card Dominoes

A miniature set of Goodall domino cards (5.9 x 3.5 cms) still in perfect condition.

1875 T. Drayton & Son

T. Drayton & Son

Bezique and Whist boxed sets by T. Drayton & Son, London, c.1875.

2011 Colour doodle deck

Colour doodle deck

“1952-2002 commemorative deck” customised with doodles by an uncredited artist, UK, 2011.

1962 Jeu Boléro

Jeu Boléro

Sweeping, semi-abstract designs by J.L. Jolin in red and black only.