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Published August 06, 2023 Updated August 07, 2023

Card Game Items and contemporary advertisements

It is often difficult to identify the origin, manufacturer and date of a card game boxed set and other card game artifacts.

De la Rue Goodall Mudie Dexter Tom Thumb Ephemera Bézique Bridge Patience Piquet Whist Add to Collection
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47 Articles

By Tony Hall

Member since January 30, 2015

I started my interest in card games about 70 years ago, playing cribbage with my grandfather. Collecting card game materials started 50 years or so later, when time permitted. One cribbage board was a memory; two became the start of a collection currently exceeding 150!

Once interest in the social history of card games was sparked, I bought a wooden whist marker from the 1880s which was ingenious in design and unbelievably tactile. One lead to two and there was no stopping.

What happened thereafter is reflected in my articles and downloads on this site, for which I will be eternally grateful.


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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 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.

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.

1904 So-Lah – A Game of Music

So-Lah – A Game of Music

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

1877 Word Making and Word Taking

Word Making and Word Taking

How crossword and spelling games became popular.

1981 Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards

Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards

Playing cards designed by F. Romagnoli bringing together Chess and Bridge, Italy, c. 1981.

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...

1975 Bourbon Bridge

Bourbon Bridge

Attractive, woodcut-style courts adapted for modern play.

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.

1987 Sylvanian Families mini playing cards

Sylvanian Families mini playing cards

Miniature cards in sheet form with Sylvanian Families characters on the courts and Jokers.

1810 Miniature playing cards by Joseph Fetscher

Miniature playing cards by Joseph Fetscher

Uncut sheet of miniature Bavarian playing cards by Joseph Fetscher.

Illustrated piquet cards

Illustrated piquet cards

Bavarian piquet cards with oriental illustrations produced by Andreas Benedict Göbl, Munich, late 18...

1859 The Origin of Patience Games in English

The Origin of Patience Games in English

Jessel’s Bibliography of works in English on Playing Cards and Gaming describes “The first book on P...

1869 The Evolution of Bezique boxed sets, 1869 to 1990

The Evolution of Bezique boxed sets, 1869 to 1990

The first company to register Bezique materials with Stationers’ Hall was Josh Reynolds & Son in Sep...

The making of a Bridge or Bézique marker

The making of a Bridge or Bézique marker

This post-mortem was carried out on a Bezique marker which was already falling apart.

1915 Goodall 1915-1916 Sample Book

Goodall 1915-1916 Sample Book

Complete contents of a sample book by Goodall & Sons

1916 Goodall 1916 Rockleigh Sample Book

Goodall 1916 Rockleigh Sample Book

Complete contents of a sample book by Goodall

1879 Goodall 1879-1880 Sample Book

Goodall 1879-1880 Sample Book

Complete contents of a sample book by Goodall & Sons

1933 De La Rue 1932-1933 Sample Book of Advertising cards

De La Rue 1932-1933 Sample Book of Advertising cards

Complete contents of a sample book of advertising cards by De La Rue

Card Game Items and contemporary advertisements

Card Game Items and contemporary advertisements

It is often difficult to identify the origin, manufacturer and date of a card game boxed set and oth...

1864 De La Rue Pocket Guides

De La Rue Pocket Guides

The 19th Century saw the production, by all of the major companies, of pocket guides or “mini-books”...

1926 Will’s Cigarettes and Auction Bridge

Will’s Cigarettes and Auction Bridge

In 1926 Will’s issued a set of 25 cigarette cards on Auction Bridge, presenting a range of hands ill...

Cribbage Patience or Cribbage Squares

Cribbage Patience or Cribbage Squares

Cribbage Patience or Cribbage Squares, produced by Messrs Edward Mortimer, Halifax and London.

A New Look at the Evolution of Whist Markers and Gaming Counters

A New Look at the Evolution of Whist Markers and Gaming Counters

This article aims to illustrate the evolution of whist and gaming counters from the 18th century to ...

Whist writers and pseudonyms

Whist writers and pseudonyms

Why did so many early writers about whist and other card games feel the need to write under a pseudo...

Whist marker boxes

Whist marker boxes

The Camden Whist marker was being advertised by Goodall and son in 1872 as a new product.

1900 Bridge Markers and bridge scoring methods

Bridge Markers and bridge scoring methods

Bridge Markers and bridge scoring methods 1900-1930

1890 Foster’s Self-Playing Whist Cards

Foster’s Self-Playing Whist Cards

In 1890 R. F. Foster published the first edition of “Foster’s Whist Manual” which was to become the ...

Mystery Objects

Mystery Objects

I need help in identifying the purpose of this particular piece of card-playing kit.

What can we learn from mini-booklet advertisements?

What can we learn from mini-booklet advertisements?

Over the years I have collected a large number of mini-booklets and pocket guides offering rules and...

1966 Sextet: 6 handed bridge

Sextet: 6 handed bridge

6 handed bridge playing cards designed by Ralph E. Peterson, 1966.

1924 Non-standard pack by J.J. Nunes

Non-standard pack by J.J. Nunes

Charming designs reminiscent of older, northern European models.

2005 Easter Playing Cards

Easter Playing Cards

Egg-shaped cards with rabbit designs in soft, pastel colours for Easter.

Possible early astrological playing cards

Possible early astrological playing cards

Two early woodcuts that I believe to be playing cards.

1974 Mini Jass

Mini Jass

Pocket-size cards with modern designs for playing the Swiss national card game, Jass.

2005 Sweetnotes playing cards

Sweetnotes playing cards

Heart-shaped cards with sweet notes on all the backs.

1741 Great Mogul Playing Cards

Great Mogul Playing Cards

The origins of the 'Great Mogul' brand playing cards.

1933 Prophet Fortune Telling Cards

Prophet Fortune Telling Cards

Prophet Fortune Telling Cards copyright and made by Thomas de la Rue & Co., 1933.

2022 Wine Labels & Chocolate Biscuits

Wine Labels & Chocolate Biscuits

‘Pinta en Copas’ playing card-themed wine labels sold at Día Supermarkets.

1968 A New Year’s Greeting

A New Year’s Greeting

in the form of playing cards

1939 Lecardo

Lecardo

‘Lecardo’ playing cards, dominos & word building game invented by Stanley Kermode, United Kingdom, c...

1912 Kuhn Khan and Cooncan: an update

Kuhn Khan and Cooncan: an update

Kuhn Khan and Cooncan are pretty much exactly the same rummy-style game, but packaged and presented ...