Siriol Clarry Playing Cards, c.1960
Four Elements playing cards designed by Siriol Clarry specially for John Waddington Ltd., c.1960. The card designs are strangely colourless but neverthelss depart from the standard pattern. Siriol Clarry was an illustrator whose work included book covers and children's books.
Further Updates courtesy Roddy Somerville
The pack was chosen for the Design Centre, Haymarket, London. Available in a fancy red box. The box contained a twin pack of the cards, a pencil with playing-card designs, and a bridge score pad. A large Design Centre sticker was affixed to the cellophane wrapping round each pack (see photo).
Secondly, the pack had a relatively long life. There was another edition issued by the Amalgamated Playing Card Co in 1971 in a special box (see photo) to commemorate Société Générale's 100 years of banking in the City of London (see scan of special title card). The box contains two packs, 50 bridge score cards, the Laws of Contract Bridge 1963, and 4 pencils. The back designs show a Société Générale "bon de monnaie" for 5 francs dated 1871 on one pack and a gold sovereign from 1871 on the other (see scan). These packs were gilt-edged, although I also have a single pack without gold edges.
Lastly, according to John Berry's catalogue of the Waddington Collection, Part 1, there was another special edition for Harrods, published in 1975 [W88]. These packs had a different Joker and a different back design (sorry, no scan available).
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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.
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