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Published March 24, 2023 Updated March 24, 2023

New Orleans Suits

New Orleans Suits playing cards designed by Eddie Tebbe, USA, 1999.

1999 USA Eddie Tebbe Suits Add to Collection

New Orleans native son Eddie Tebbe (1970 – 2023) was a freelance writer, penning dozens of songs, poems, and short stories over the years and was a fixture on the New Orleans music scene. Tebbe designed this playful pack in homage to his beloved city, with the four non-standard suit signs representing distinctive aspects of the city:

  • saxophone (known for its strong association with jazz, with New Orleans universally considered to be the birthplace of the genre)
  • crawfish (part of Creole cuisine, a traditional New Orleans seafood)
  • the crescent moon (the city is called the Crescent City, due to its location on a river bend in the Mississippi resembling a crescent moon)
  • the cockroach (New Orleans is often cited as most cockroach-infested city in the United States).

The cartoon court cards are repeated in each suit, and the pack contains two jokers and two cards explaining the rules of “Crescent City Twist” – a card game devised by the author. See the box

New Orleans Suits playing cards designed by Eddie Tebbe, USA, 1999 New Orleans Suits playing cards designed by Eddie Tebbe, USA, 1999

Above: New Orleans Suits playing cards designed by Eddie Tebbe, USA, 1999.

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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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