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Published January 16, 2024 Updated January 16, 2024

Royal flash playing cards

Royal flash playing cards with non-standard suits, USA, 1974.

1974 USA DuRite Enterprises Botany Cannabis Add to Collection

In this drug-promoting pack published in 1974 by DuRite Enterprises, the standard suits have been replaced by non-standard symbols representing plants used in the making of marijuana and other drugs: cannabis leaf, peyote cactus, opium poppy and magic mushrooms – with each of these suits shown against a different coloured background.

Each jack, queen and king is shown using/enjoying the drug of their suit and the jokers have been replaced by “Smokers”. In all, the designs of the court cards are colourful and striking. The four "suits" are integrated in the back design.

Royal flash playing cards published by DuRite Enterprises, USA, 1974 Royal flash playing cards published by DuRite Enterprises, USA, 1974
Royal flash playing cards published by DuRite Enterprises, USA, 1974

Above: Royal flash playing cards published by DuRite Enterprises, USA, 1974.

Reference

Dawson, The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, p.307, N40.

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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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