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Published March 13, 2024 Updated March 13, 2024

Pike and Clover playing cards

Pike and Clover playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey, Cumbria, UK, 2018.

2018 United Kingdom Cartamundi Ian Cumpstey Kickstarter Tarot de Marseille Add to Collection

This pack features the work of Cumbrian artist Ian Cumpstey and was published in 2018 via Kickstarter. A second edition was published in 2020 which had a different colour palette, and a few other small differences compared to the original cards from 2018.

Like other packs designed by Cumpstey the cards are based on the rich and fascinating history of playing cards – in this case they feature designs based on the art style of the old Tarot de Marseille cards, but adapted to the standard playing card suits of clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades. However, spades are designed to look like pike or spear heads, and clubs like clovers. The court cards are drawn in the art style of Tarot de Marseille cards. More specifically, the kings and queens are all seated, and the queens all have their hair uncovered --- these conventions are typical of Tarot de Marseille cards.

The artist has also added corner indices to the cards, and Roman numerals to the sides (Roman numerals appear on the sides of some Tarot de Marseille pip cards). There are three “jokers” – The Trickster, The Player and The Harlequin.

Pike and Clover playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey and published via Kickstarter in 2018 Pike and Clover playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey and published via Kickstarter in 2018 Pike and Clover playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey and published via Kickstarter in 2018

Above: Pike and Clover playing cards created by Ian Cumpstey and published via Kickstarter in 2018. Printed by Cartamundi in Belgium. 55 poker-sized (2.5" x 3.5") playing cards.

See the box

• Kickstarter: Pike and Clover Playing Cards

2nd edition, 2020

The second edition has a different colour palette and a few other small differences compared to the original Pike and Clover cards.

Pike and Clover playing cards second edition created by Ian Cumpstey and published in 2020

Above: four cards from the second edition, printed by Cartamundi in 2020, 56 poker-sized (2.5" x 3.5") playing cards.

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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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