This pack was funded through Kickstarter, and printed by the United States Playing Card Company in 2013. It was designed by experienced video game artist and author/illustrator Nathanael Iwata. As its name suggests, it features elves and orcs – beings which figure prominently in Tolkien’s novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. See the box►
In Tolkien’s fantasy world, elves are known for their quiet gravitas, bravery, and deep and abiding wisdom. Orcs, in contrast, appear as a brutish, aggressive, ugly, and malevolent race of monsters. The court cards reflect these distinct qualities – elves depicted against a red background on the red suits, and orcs against a murky green background on the black. The pips are custom designed – the black suits spikey and weapon-like, the red suits smooth and attractive. There are two jokers (one elf and one orc), a gaff card and an extra card advertising The Steampunk alphabet, another work by the author.
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.
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.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
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