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Photo of Rod Starling (1936-2023)
94 Articles

Rod Starling (1936-2023)

Member since January 09, 2013

Rod Starling was one of the founding members of the 52 Plus Joker card collectors club. He authored many articles for the club's quarterly newsletter, Clear the Decks. His collection encompasses both foreign and American decks. Rod also authored a book titled The Art and Pleasures of Playing Cards.

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1935 Müller: Richelieu

Müller: Richelieu

This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.

Is Card Collecting an Investment?

“Is Card Collecting an Investment?” - an article by Rod Starling.

A Look Back with Hope for the Future

“A Look Back with Hope for the Future” by Rod Starling

1893 1893 Worshipful Company Pack

1893 Worshipful Company Pack

Worshipful Company Pack manufactured by Chas Goodall & Son, 1893.

1885 Bicycle Playing Cards, 1st edition

Bicycle Playing Cards, 1st edition

1st edition of famous Bicycle Playing Cards printed by Russell & Morgan Printing Co., Cincinnati, 1885.

1897 Leipzig Exhibition Skat, 1897

Leipzig Exhibition Skat, 1897

“Leipziger Skat-Karte” depicting scenes from the Leipzig Industry and Trade Exhibition designed by Arthur Lewin, 1897.

1883 Neue Deutsche Spielkarte

Neue Deutsche Spielkarte

Neue Deutsche Spielkarte (Reformkarte) conceived by Dr. Timon Schroeter, 1883.

1889 No.4 Special Whist

No.4 Special Whist

No.4 Special Whist (American Skat) playing cards made by the Russell & Morgan Printing Company, 1889.

1928 Baroque No.2118

Baroque No.2118

“Baroque” by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, reflecting a bygone era of fashion.

The Traveler’s Companion

The “Traveler’s Companion”, Union Playing Card Co., New York, c.1886.

Cartes Imperiales et Royales

‘Cartes Imperiales et Royales’ published by B. P. Grimaud & Cie representing imperial rulers and consorts from Austria, England, France & Russia, mid-19th century

1845 Goodall c.1845-60

Goodall c.1845-60

Goodall’s earliest cards were traditional in appearance but in around 1845 ‘modernised’ courts were designed

1998 Vienna Melange

Vienna Melange

“Vienna Melange” Playing Cards by Piatnik with a historical feel representing the four races that make up the cultural background of Vienna.

Card Fabrique Company

Card Fabrique Company had connections with several other manufacturers and their complete history is yet to be unravelled.

1884 Deutsches Schützenfest 1884

Deutsches Schützenfest 1884

This deck was apparently made to commemorate a Shooting Festival held in Leipzig in 1884

1848 French Costumes

French Costumes

During the early 19th century. O. Gibert of Paris produced a series of such fashion packs, or packs depicting historical characters.

1930 Marguerite


Each court figure is richly decorated and holding something different: a letter, a wreath, a quill pen, a mace, a bird, a flower, a cushion, a goblet, a flute, etc.

1910 Sport No.31

Sport No.31

Van Genechten first registered an Ace of Spades for English playing cards in 1885 followed by the ‘Sailor’ Joker.

1890 Standard Playing Card Company

Standard Playing Card Company

Standard Playing Card Co. started producing playing cards in c.1890 but was in business for only about four years before United States Playing Card Company acquired it in 1894.

American Bank Note Company

The American Bank Note Company was a long-established firm producing national currency, finely engraved stock certificates and other security printing, including postage stamps. They also entered the playing card market c.1908-1914.

1887 Perfection Playing Card Co.

Perfection Playing Card Co.

Tip-Top No.350 playing cards manufactured by Perfection Playing Card Company, Philadelphia, c.1887

1945 L’union fait la force

L’union fait la force

“L’Union Fait la Force”, sometimes known as “the Allied pack”, has the four suits dedicated to the victorious nations of the Second World War.

1995 The Fortune Teller's Deck

The Fortune Teller's Deck

The Fortune Teller’s Deck was published in 1995 in conjunction with a book written by Jane Lyle. The deck was designed by Neil Breeden and the court cards incorporate traditional symbolism.

1979 Épinal Tarot

Épinal Tarot

The woodcuts were produced by Francois Georgin (1801-1863), a famous engraver during the Napoleonic period, retaining the composition and general features of the Tarot de Marseille.

1979 Stairs of Gold Tarot

Stairs of Gold Tarot

Whilst the titles of the cards are in Italian, the Hebrew and Sanskrit letters on the Trump cards denote, respectively, associations with the Cabbala and Vedic metaphysics.

1844 Corona Ferrea

Corona Ferrea

Trumps depict historical scenes primarily of the political period known as the Holy Roman Empire from the 6th to 16th century.

1980 Tarocco Neoclassico

Tarocco Neoclassico

Gumppenberg published several new decks by artists or engravers of the day. The designs are clear and well-engraved, in the style of the revival of antiquity, preserving the symbolic intensity of the Tarot.

1835 Tarocchino Lombardo, c.1835

Tarocchino Lombardo, c.1835

“Tarocchino Lombardo” c.1835, a limited facsimile edition of 2500 by Edizione del Solleone, Italy, 1981.

1885 Clausen Brewing

Clausen Brewing

It was a common practice for card makers to produce decks under fictitious names particularly when producing advertising decks, to avoid promoting their own name at the expense of the client.

1948 Cassandre for Hermès

Cassandre for Hermès

Promotional playing cards created by A. M. Cassandre (pseudonym of Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, 1901-1968) with abstract, almost surrealist figures and ornamentation, but clearly inspired by medieval art and rendered into an Art Deco style.

1905 President Suspender

President Suspender

An historic American advertising deck for the C. A. Edgarton Mfg Company, manufacturers of the President Suspender (known as “braces” in England) depicting U.S. Presidents and First Ladies on the courts.

1985 La Traviata

La Traviata

“La Traviata” playing cards designed by Erté, c.1985.

1923 Kismet Temple

Kismet Temple

The deck was made to honour Conrad V. Dykeman as Imperial Potentate of the Kismet Temple of the Ancient Arab Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a spin off of the Free and Accepted Masons.

1920 Pyramid P.C.C.

Pyramid P.C.C.

The company introduced a number of standard brands until it was absorbed into U.S.P.C.C. and its affiliates, and finally dissolved in 1933.

1880 Luxus Skatkarten

Luxus Skatkarten

The cards are from a facsimile edition published by F. X. Schmid, Munich, in 1981. The artist is unknown, but the artwork follows the tradition of German playing card design and conveys a vivid sense of emotion, sensuality and vitality.

1919 WW1 Commemorative

WW1 Commemorative

In 1919 Brepols commemorated the victories of World War I with two new packs featuring portraits of Allied leaders on the court cards and famous battle scenes on the Aces.

1880 Bavarian Military Cards

Bavarian Military Cards

The King of Acorns is supposed to represent Prince Otto; the King of Leaves is Maximilian II; the King of Bells is Ludwig II; the King of Hearts is Ludwig I wearing a general's uniform.

1886 Tourists


Imagery of slightly eccentric tourists sightseeing in Egypt, or perhaps in the Alps, appears on the back of the box, the Ace of Spades and the Joker.

1889 American Skat

American Skat

These decks were produced in various grades for the German immigrant population and feature the German eagle and the German and American flags intertwined. There were two versions: one with German faces and one with American faces.

1900 Anheuser-Busch Army & Navy

Anheuser-Busch Army & Navy

This deck is commonly known as the “Anheuser-Busch Spanish-American War deck”, issued at the end of the war.

1895 Monarch Bicycle

Monarch Bicycle

The company advertised themselves as “The Monarch King of all Cycles” with the lion's head motif inside a bicycle wheel.

1881 Russell, Morgan & Co

Russell, Morgan & Co

The distinctive Ace of Spades features the Statue of the Goddess of Freedom, based on the bronze statue designed by Thomas Crawford (1814-1857) that, since 1863, has crowned the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

1895 Capitol No.188

Capitol No.188

“Capitol No.188” was first introduced during the Russell & Morgan Printing Company era in c.1886 and carried through into the U.S.P.C.C's catalogue after 1895.