“The Deck of Cards” collaborative deck commissioned by the JPL Gallery of London, published by Andrew Jones Art, 1979. Not necessarily easy to play with, but according to the Royal Academy of Arts:
“In 1976 the JPL Gallery in London asked fifty four British artists to create their version of a playing card. Each artist was given the task to create a specific card from the pack; plus an artist to create the reverse pattern for the entire deck and an artwork for the pack itself. When collector Andrew Jones saw the show he purchased the entire collection and approached artists with the request to create an actual pack of cards from their artworks. The cards were then then sold in a range of outlets including gallery shops such as the RA. Some of the best known British artists from the 20th century were involved with this project including many RAs.”See the Extra Card► See the Box►
Addendum - courtesy Roddy Somerville.
There are many different editions of this pack. These can be identified according to the type of box used, the name of the publisher and the colour of some of the text on the title card.
The first edition consisted of a numbered edition of 10,000 packs – a not inconsiderable print run for a non-standard, ‘unplayable’ set – in a hard box. The bottom line of text on the title card is in red. This was followed by an unnumbered edition in a hard box marked “HWGA”, standing for “Here we go again” (print run was probably 5,000). For the next edition, the hard box was marked “Britain” on the bottom edge. By now, the text on the title card had been changed to white. After this, the hard box was abandoned, replaced by a tuck box but still published by Andrew Jones Art, with a title card where the date “1979” has been removed. Then, in about 1990 or 1991, Andrew Jones sold the distribution rights to Alan Driscoll who continued to market the pack with his own name on the box and on the title card (with the date “1979” included again).
In total, well over 100,000 of these packs have been produced since 1979, surely making it the most successful ‘unplayable’ set ever!
As well as the playing cards, a deck of postcards and a poster were produced, using all of the designs in the pack.
Quite early on, Andrew Jones lent the original artwork to the British Council for a touring exhibition which went all over the world.
Member since March 02, 2012View Articles
I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.
Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.
Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.
I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.
Cards made by John Waddington Ltd. for the Madras Club, Chennai (formerly Madras), India, c.1930.
54 different personalities from the city of Inverness published by the Highland Hospice.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme covers from 1956 to 2016 published by Winning Moves UK Ltd.
Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.
Tarot game pack with fantasy sci-fi artwork on the trumps published by Pocket SF, France.
Celebrating the work of Andreas Vesalius in the quincentenary year of his birth.
Sirocco, nautical themed playing cards by Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Co. and designed by Nathan Oser, 2020.
Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.
Great Britains’s Olympic gold medallists from 1964 to 2004 published by the British Olympic Association.
Celebration of the work of David Kindersley, stone letter-carver and typeface designer. Published by the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge, UK, 2015.
Pack celebrating the rugby world champions of 2003. Produced by MMcardz.
Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.
Complete re-design of traditional pack into what the publishers considered to be ergonomically efficient.
A pack of 53 temporary tattoo designs published by Wink, Riga, Latvia, c.2017.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
Hall & Son
Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.
This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.
Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.
Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.
Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.
PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History
Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith
We are deeply saddened by news of the passing of Anthony Rex Pitts (1940-2021).
The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts
Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany
Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.
Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.
The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.
Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11
Crazy People children’s card game illustrated by caricaturist and graphic artist Walter Trier, c.1950.
Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.
Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.
Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.
Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.
The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.