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Published December 06, 2023 Updated December 06, 2023

House of Tudor

Randy Butterfield's House of Tudor playing cards feature detailed art in a high-quality collectible style.

2023 United Kingdom USA Legends Randy Butterfield (Midnight Playing Cards) Historical Kickstarter Luxury Pop Culture Royalty Victorian Add to Collection

The Historic Tower of London, hand-drawn by Butterfield on the House of Tudor Joker card.

Above: the Historic Tower of London, hand-drawn by Butterfield on the House of Tudor Joker card.

Joker card depicting King Henry VIII's historic ship The Mary Rose set against a patterned blue background.

Above: joker card depicting King Henry VIII's historic ship The Mary Rose set against a patterned blue background.

Randy Butterfield, a graphic artist from Indianapolis, has launched his 21st Kickstarter project featuring the House of Tudor playing cards. Drawing from the notable Tudor era in English history, this deck is the latest addition to his historical series, which previously explored themes such as Rome and the Wild West.

Playing cards featuring King Henry VIII as King of Spades, Queen Elizabeth I as Queen of Hearts, and Queen Mary I as Queen of Diamonds, each set against a detailed backdrop

Above: playing cards featuring King Henry VIII as King of Spades, Queen Elizabeth I as Queen of Hearts, and Queen Mary I as Queen of Diamonds, each set against a detailed backdrop

The House of Tudor deck features custom court cards that depict key Tudor figures such as King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, and Queen Mary I (“Bloody Mary”), each court card designed for historical accuracy. Butterfield describes his creative process: “I hand-drew each court character with pencil on paper, and then digitally painted the colouring for each in Photoshop.” The face cards boast a one-way design that mirrors traditional Tudor portraits, while the card backs show the Tudor Rose and architectural motifs, showcasing the era's rich aesthetic. The deck is printed by Legends Playing Card Company, known for their quality craftsmanship. This project, marking Butterfield's latest venture following a previous cancellation, successfully raised $3,543 from 96 backers.

The House of Tudor box design is richly detailed, showcasing elements of the Tudor era with ornate patterns and the distinctive Tudor Rose, encapsulating the luxury theme of the deck.

Above: the House of Tudor box design is richly detailed, showcasing elements of the Tudor era with ornate patterns and the distinctive Tudor Rose, encapsulating the luxury theme of the deck.

The House of Tudor deck stands as an example of a modern luxury collectible deck, a category known for its opulent features such as richly decorated boxes, limited editions, and the use of gold foiling alongside other high-end printing techniques. The House of Tudor deck's tuck box, adorned with red and gold foils and Tudor architectural elements, underscores its luxury appeal, aligning with the high standards of collectible decks.

Eliana Bermant, in her blog, highlights the significant cultural impact of the Tudors, observing, “the Tudor contribution to national identity is so central that by proxy, the dynasty has become a part of popular culture.” This sentiment is echoed by The Guardian, which refers to the phenomenon as "Tudormania," noting the enduring fascination with this period of British history. This widespread interest is reflected in the popularity of Tudor-themed books, TV shows, and now playing cards, with decks like House of Tudor capturing the essence of this historical fascination.

Randy Butterfield's House of Tudor Ace of Spades: a design that blends the intricate patterns of the Tudor period with the elegance of luxury playing cards.

Above: regal and ornate, the House of Tudor Ace of Spades.

Card back design featuring the iconic Tudor Rose with intricate patterns and a gold filigree border.

Above: card back design featuring the iconic Tudor Rose with intricate patterns and a gold filigree border.



Cards featuring Tudor historical figures: Jack of Spades as Cardinal Wolsey, Queen of Spades as Anne Boleyn, King of Spades as King Henry VIII, Jack of Diamonds as Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen of Diamonds as Queen Mary I, and King of Diamonds as Philip II of Spain.

Above: cards featuring Tudor historical figures: Jack of Spades as Cardinal Wolsey, Queen of Spades as Anne Boleyn, King of Spades as King Henry VIII, Jack of Diamonds as Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen of Diamonds as Queen Mary I, and King of Diamonds as Philip II of Spain.

Cards displaying Tudor-era personalities: Jack of Clubs as John Cabot, Queen of Clubs as Elizabeth of York, King of Clubs as King Henry VII, Jack of Hearts as Robert Dudley, Queen of Hearts as Queen Elizabeth I, and King of Hearts as King Edward VI.

Above: cards displaying Tudor-era personalities: Jack of Clubs as John Cabot, Queen of Clubs as Elizabeth of York, King of Clubs as King Henry VII, Jack of Hearts as Robert Dudley, Queen of Hearts as Queen Elizabeth I, and King of Hearts as King Edward VI.


Referneces
  1. Tudormania: Why can’t we get over it? | History | The Guardian
  2. House of Tudor by Randy Butterfield (Midnight Cards) — Kickstarter
  3. Why the Tudors make for such great TV | by Eliana Bermant
  4. Midnight Cards
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151 Articles

By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting research. He is particularly interested in innovation, Kickstarter and East Asian cards. He is a member of the IPCS and webmaster of the EPCS.

2 comments

Roy J Hopwood's Avatar'

a fascinating and colourful set of cards. What is the back design like?

Adam Wintle's Avatar'

Thanks for the reminder! I've updated the article to include the back design.


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