Kimberley & Sons, first edition, 1892
William Kimberley applied for a patent in respect of his improved playing cards in February 1892 and his application was fully accepted in December of that year. The first edition of the cards, shown here, is very different from successive editions in quality and method of printing. It is printed very luxuriously by chromolithography using no less than eleven colours, one of which is gold. All cards have an ivory background inside a gold border. The numerals follow a scheme proposed by Kimberley in his patent application of 1892: a large suit-sign occupies the centre of the card, with the numeric value voided in it twice. The pack has non-standard aces, non-standard courts, non-standard colours for pips (spades are blue, hearts maroon) and the pips on the numeral cards occupy almost the entire card.
Playing cards are used for fortune-telling, predicting the future or even as a psychological adjunct to folk medicine and therapy.
Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.
Warren Paper Products Co., Lafayette, Indiana, publishers of Built-Rite toys, games and puzzles.
“Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945.
Caleb Bartlett patriotic deck (reproduction), around 1835-40.
Rainbow card game and colour mixing guide printed by Goodall & Sons for Robert Johnson, c.1920.
A Royal Game featuring Queen Victoria’s children and extended family, published by A. Collier, London, c.1896.
In 1932, a patent was granted to Colin Hart and George Franklin for a leather case in the form of a book cover for playing cards.
Corner Indices were a major innovation in playing card production.
The Woman’s Hour playing cards published by David Westnedge, 1996.
Patriotic Misfitz published by C.W Faulkner & Co, Ltd, c.1906.
“Atouts de la Vie” wartime card game created by Madame Lucien Willemetz, c.1940.
World Leaders Snap published around WW2, c.1940.
Zum card game published by Milton Bradley Co., c.1905.
“Jeu des Quatre Saisons de l’An II” facsimile of French Revolution deck originally published by J. B. Debeine (Reims) 1793.
“Naked Truth” Playing Politics with caricatures by Jason Pratt, 1997
“Jungle Parties” or “Playing Politics '87” designed & drawn by Patrick Cuenot.
Churchill ‘Walking with Destiny’ playing cards published by the Imperial War Museum.
Uback horse racing game patent specification, Chad Valley Co Ltd, 1922.
In 1943 a pack of ‘anti-fascist’ playing cards was designed by Vasiliy Andrianovich Vlasov mocking the rulers of Germany and the Axis powers.
Facsimile edition of cards first published by Carel de Wagenaer, Amsterdam in c.1698
“Playing Politics” or “Cabinet Shuffle” specially commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1983
Deakin’s Political Playing Cards 3rd edition, c.1888.
Back to the USSR deck featuring communist party leaders and politicians, c.1995
‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud, c.1995
“XVI Century European Naval Powers” deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981.
Kaiser Jubiläum Imperial playing cards made in Austria by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna
Political “Skat Politisch” published by ASS, 1976
Naipes Artiguistas published in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Rios province (Argentina) in 1816, by Fray Solano García.
“Lincard” card game invented by John William Wolf and patented in 1937.
“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945.
Parker Brothers, Salem, Mass., USA.
“Habemus Boda” deck celebrating the royal wedding of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain with cartoons by Sir Cámara
‘Cartes Imperiales et Royales’ published by B. P. Grimaud & Cie representing imperial rulers and consorts from Austria, England, France & Russia, mid-19th century
Promotional deck for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) printed by Piatnik, 1996.
Touring Automobile card game published by Wallie Dorr Company, NY, in c.1920.
Playing cards celebrating the story of the Chinese leader and statesman Chairman Mao / Mao Zedong & International Friends.
“Première Guerre Mondiale 1914-1918” playing cards published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères), Paris.
“In der Fuehrer’s Face” playing cards designed in 1945 by Antonio Arias Bernal, a Mexican artist, but not published until 2002.
‘St George and the Dragon’ game made by Chad Valley for Flutter Met Games, 1930s.