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Published December 15, 2023 Updated December 15, 2023

Tottering-by-Gently

‘Tottering-by-Gently’ playing cards with cartoons by Annie Tempest.

United Kingdom Annie Tempest Cartoon Humour Add to Collection

Tottering-by-Gently is a cartoon strip which has appeared every week since 1993 in Country Life Magazine. Created by the Zambian-born cartoonist Anne Valerie Tempest (1959- ), known as Annie Tempest, the cartoon revolves around the fictional characters Lord and Lady Tottering (Dicky & Daffy) and their ever-faithful black Labrador Slobber, and gently laughs at their life and manners. The inspiration comes from Broughton Hall, Tempest’s childhood home in Yorkshire. She has also said that Lord Tottering is modelled on her father Henry, and Lady Tottering is partly modelled on herself.

The cartoon has spawned a commercial company which produces posters, greetings cards, watercolours and prints. This pack is part of that wider production. In the pack the Kings portray different cartoons of Lord Dicky, the Queens - Lady Daffy, while the Jacks have cartoons of the maid. There are two colourful Jokers, and the Labrador is shown on the back of the cards.

‘Tottering-by-Gently’ playing cards with cartoons by Annie Tempest ‘Tottering-by-Gently’ playing cards with cartoons by Annie Tempest

Above: ‘Tottering-by-Gently’ playing cards with cartoons by Annie Tempest

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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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