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Published March 07, 2015 Updated July 10, 2023

Historical Characters

“Historical Characters” playing cards printed by Waddington’s for Thermawear Ltd, 1994.

1994 United Kingdom Waddingtons Advertising Historical Add to Collection

Historical Characters

“Historical Characters” playing cards was commissioned by Thermawear Ltd to illustrate some of the principal characters whose loves, loyalties and ambitions helped to shape twenty centuries of British history. The court cards portray monarchs, princes, plotters, pretenders and parliamentarians who, for one reason or another, sought to overthrow the monarchs of their day.

The likenesses of the characters have been taken wherever possible from contemporary portraits.

Left & above: “Historical Characters” playing cards commissioned by Thermawear Ltd and supplied by Waddington’s Games, 1994.

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By Matt Probert

Member since March 02, 2012

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.


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