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Published October 24, 2022 Updated February 13, 2023

Goldfish

Playing cards advertising the Goldfish credit card brand, c.1996.

1996 United Kingdom Advertising Banking & Finance Add to Collection

This advertising pack was produced by Goldbrand Development Ltd. (a part of Centrica), and Goldfish was a trading name of the company. The pack was not intended for sale or resale but was issued free to customers.

Goldfish was a short-lived credit card created by Centrica in 1996 as a joint venture with Lloyds TSB, which bought it out in 2003 before selling it to Morgan Stanley in 2006. In 2008 the Goldfish credit card was sold to Barclays bank and was subsequently absorbed.

This pack has replaced the standard court cards with goldfish-headed characters, and all the cards (except the standard aces) have slick advertising slogans or brand values across the centre.

playing cards advertising the Goldfish credit card, c.1996

Above: cards advertising the Goldfish credit card, c.1996.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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