This pack was published by Newt’s Playing Cards, Ohio with the sub-title of “Bible reference playing cards”. The purpose is to tell the story of the well-known song “Deck of Cards”. This was first performed in 1948 by the country musician T. Texas Tyler, and subsequently by many others including Tex Ritter, Max Bygraves and most famously by Wink Martindale. It is the story of a soldier arrested for playing cards in church who then explains to the provost marshal the biblical significance of each card.
Hence aces represent one god; two – the two parts of the bible; three – the Trinity; four – the four Gospels, etc. (see the Wikipedia article for the full explanation). Each of the 52 cards shows a public-domain image from the late 1400s to the early 1900s. There are three wildcards and a bonus card advertising the Bible playing cards from the same publisher. See the box►
NOTE: Martindale's rendition of the spoken-word song "Deck of Cards" sold over a million copies in 1959, and also entered the UK Singles Chart in 1963. For a live performance see here. The song was also a UK hit in October 1973 for the entertainer Max Bygraves.
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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‘The Deck of Hillary’ with quotes and photographs of Hillary Clinton, USA, 2003.
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Old Testament playing cards with illustrations by Jan Padover, USA, 2012.
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Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.
“Politically Wild John McCain” published by Newt’s Playing Cards, USA, 2008.
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Fate fortune telling cards published by Merrimack Publishing Corporation, USA.
Politicards 2004 with satirical cartoons by the award-winning illustrator Peter Green, USA.
Politicards 1971 for the presidential election in which Richard Nixon won a landslide victory.
Politicards 1984 with caricatures by Donald Gates, published by the Kamber Group, USA.
Politicards 1980 in which Ronald Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter, with caricatures by Kei...
Stereotypical representations of gay men and men they most admire, in a 1981 pack from San Francisco...
‘52 Ways to talk about adoption’ family-centred playing cards produced by the Center for Adoption Su...
Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.