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Published May 04, 2023 Updated May 04, 2023

Golden Charades

Drawn by Bernard Cookson, the clues, riddles and puzzles on these cards could have won the solver a bar of silver or gold.

1981 United Kingdom Golden Charade Limited Bernard Cookson Add to Collection

Bernard Cookson (1937-2016) was a British cartoonist and illustrator who contributed the suit of Hearts to The Cartoonists’ Pack published in 1980. In the following year he created this highly original pack with pictorial clues, riddles and puzzles which, if solved, could have won the contestant a bar of silver or a bar of gold. The pack is fully illustrated, with a different set of colours used for the courts and borders in each suit. Were the puzzles solved and the prizes won? That remains a mystery.

Golden Charades playing cards drawn by Bernard Cookson and published by Golden Charade Limited, UK, 1981 Golden Charades playing cards drawn by Bernard Cookson and published by Golden Charade Limited, UK, 1981 Golden Charades playing cards drawn by Bernard Cookson and published by Golden Charade Limited, UK, 1981 Golden Charades playing cards drawn by Bernard Cookson and published by Golden Charade Limited, UK, 1981
Golden Charades playing cards drawn by Bernard Cookson and published by Golden Charade Limited, UK, 1981

Above: Golden Charades playing cards drawn by Bernard Cookson and published by Golden Charade Limited, UK, 1981. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 2 extra cards in tuck box. Size: 65.5 x 91 mm. © 1981 by Golden Charade Limited.

• See the box

11 years later, another pack was issued where a prize (£5,000 cash) was offered for solving a riddle, namely The Key to the Kingdom

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.

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