Before the invention of the aeroplane travel by sea was much more common than it is today. First class travel was provided by cruise liners steaming between Europe and America, Africa and Australasia, third class travel provided to passengers not requiring any semblance of luxury by freight service, ferries still provide short-haul travel over water ways both within countries and between continents. Traditionally these shipping lines have sold souvenir decks of playing cards, both representing the shipping line such as Cunard, Manchester Line, Pacific and Orient (P & O), White Star or Union Castle and also the individual cruise ships such as the famous Queen Elizabeth 2. These souvenir playing cards were formerly made by leading names such as Waddington’s and De La Rue, however, during the later part of the 20th century decks were produced in Belgium, Hong Kong and China.
Member since March 02, 2012
I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.
Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.
Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.
I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
Advertising pack for the food producer Bischofszell, designed by Heinz Looser-Brenner, with non-stan...
Advertising pack for Scheffmacher, master painters in Schaffhausen, with comic designs by Fritz Bünz...
Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.
Publicity pack for the Campanile hotel and restaurant chain featuring French provincial costumes, wi...
Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), Suisse.
French navigators and explorers on a promotional pack for the C.M.C.R shipping company.
Characters from the 2007 film Shrek the Third, a DreamWorks Animation production.
Advertising pack designed by James Hodges for a company specialising in regional cakes and biscuits....
Psychedelic designs promoting Louis De Poortere, a company selling carpets and rugs.
On-line offsite data backup publicity playing cards produced by The Bunker, United Kingdom, c. 2004....
Publicity pack for the East German furniture industry, with designs by Werner-Hans Schlegel.
Clamcleats playing cards for sailors designed by Celia Allison, New Zealand, 1986.
American President Lines shipping souvenir playing cards, early to mid-1950s.
Official souvenir pack showing 52 coloured exhibits from the New York World’s Fair, 1964-6.
Publicity pack for Gibert Jeune, the famous Parisian bookshop, with designs by James Hodges.
‘Century of Progress’ Exposition playing cards produced by Western Playing Card Company, USA, 1933. ...
A flicker pack with different backs, advertising the Saab 900 Convertible motor car.
Multicoloured Belgian/Genoese pattern cards, probably printed by Fournier for Lebanon.
New York City souvenir playing cards with 53 different views of interest, USA, 1915.
Complete contents of a sample book of advertising cards by De La Rue
Nation’s capital souvenir playing cards published by the United States Playing Card Company, USA, 19...
Kyoto Souvenir playing cards by Nintendo aimed at the up and coming tourist industry, 1950s.
A celebration of some of Ireland’s most famous patriots, politicians and poets.
Promotional pack for a German steel hardening business, with designs by Costante Costantini.