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Published February 02, 2023 Updated February 02, 2023

Hobby horse playing cards

Hobby horse playing cards produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs, 1986.

1986 United Kingdom Michael Evans Nicholas Thompson-Moore Add to Collection

Announced on the back cover of the March 1986 issue of the EPCS Newsletter, this pack was produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs.

The spade court cards are shown holding garden spades; clubs literally holding clubs; diamond courts holding diamonds with their sharp, sparkly edges; hearts were left to the discretion of the artist, Nicholas Thompson-Moore. He depicts the ace of hearts as a closely drawn pair of French knickers, the jack shows the three broken hearts of the other suits tattooed on his left arm, and “the king and queen trying to be a little bit discrete having been caught red-handed as it were”. Particularly noteworthy is the unusual formation and irregular pattern found on the pip cards. There are 7 different jokers.

Hobby horse playing cards with artwork by Nicholas Thompson-Moore, produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs, 1986 Hobby horse playing cards with artwork by Nicholas Thompson-Moore, produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs, 1986 Hobby horse playing cards with artwork by Nicholas Thompson-Moore, produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs, 1986 Hobby horse playing cards with artwork by Nicholas Thompson-Moore, produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs, 1986

Above: Hobby horse playing cards with artwork by Nicholas Thompson-Moore, produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs, 1986.

Hobby horse playing cards with artwork by Nicholas Thompson-Moore, produced by Michael Evans in a limited edition of 350 packs, 1986

Above: excerpt from the March 1986 issue of the EPCS Newsletter.

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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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