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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Aquae Sulis

‘Aquae Sulis’ is Georgina Harvey's second design, in which the double-ended courts are reminiscent of classical gods & goddesses.

Karl Gerich No.32: Aquae Sulis

‘Aquae Sulis’ is Georgina Harvey's second design, in which the double-ended courts are reminiscent of classical gods & goddesses. ‘Aquae Sulis’ refers to the City of Bath: Sulis was the local Celtic goddess of the thermal springs that still feed the spa baths, which the Romans called ‘Aquae Sulis’ (“the waters of Sulis”). She was worshipped by the Romano-British as Sulis Minerva. The four Aces are in formal frames with single-ended Roman scenes, and the set is completed with a double-ended ‘Hermes’ Joker holding a caduceus and a scroll. The title card features two tigers tamed by a seated lady, probably Sulis herself. The deck was printed by Karl Gerich in 1990.

‘Aquae Sulis’ playing cards no.32, designed by Georgina Harvey and printed from copperplate etching by Karl Gerich trading as Victoria P.C.C., 1990.

Above: ‘Aquae Sulis’ playing cards no.32, designed by Georgina Harvey and printed from copperplate etching by Karl Gerich trading as Victoria P.C.C., 1990. The courts are in plain clothing in a number of styles from various times which are however reminiscent of classical gods and goddesses. The Aces are in a decorated frame with the lower part of each card showing a scene from Roman life. 32 cards + joker + extra card, 92mm x 60mm.

References:

♣ Tregear, Mike and Daphne, "Karl Gerich: Card Designer and Maker", privately published.

Copyright:

Copyright for all images remains the property of the Artist.

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By Barney Townshend

Member since October 06, 2015

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Retired Airline Pilot, interested in: Transformation Playing Cards, Karl Gerich and Elaine Lewis. Secretary of the EPCS. Treasurer of the IPCS.

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Aquae Sulis

Aquae Sulis

‘Aquae Sulis’ is Georgina Harvey's second design, in which the double-ended courts are reminiscent of classical gods & goddesses.

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Views of Bath is Georgina Harvey's third design, created in 1990. The cards feature beautifully designed double-ended courts and double-ended Aces with a central band which is used to identify different views of the City of Bath at each end.