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Published November 11, 2023 Updated November 11, 2023

Pendleton playing cards

Pendleton playing cards inspired by indigenous American artwork, USA, 2019.

2019 USA Advertising Art & Design Ethnic & Indigenous Add to Collection

In 1863 Thomas Kay, an English weaver, began making woollen products in Oregon and in 1909, his daughter, Fannie Kay Bishop and her sons opened Pendleton Woollen Mills. Under her direction, Pendleton established trading connections with the indigenous communities, often creating blankets incorporating indigenous designs. These designs have become the hallmark of Pendleton. Today the company produces not only blankets, but also throws, quilts, covers, and a wide range of women’s and men’s jackets, coats, wool shirts and sweaters.

This twin pack is presented in two colourful Pendleton pattern boxes and housed in a snap-close canvas pouch. Although both packs are identical in design, the suit symbols and the stylised courts are presented in similar but different colours and patterns inspired and informed by indigenous American artwork. The card backs are decorated with Pendleton’s traditional patterns. See the case

Pendleton playing cards inspired by indigenous American artwork, USA, 2019 Pendleton playing cards inspired by indigenous American artwork, USA, 2019 Pendleton playing cards inspired by indigenous American artwork, USA, 2019

The Second Pack

With different colours and patterns

Pendleton playing cards inspired by indigenous American artwork, USA, 2019

Above: Pendleton playing cards twin-pack inspired by indigenous American artwork, USA, 2019.

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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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