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Published April 03, 2023 Updated April 03, 2023

Chandelier No. 55 (Nintendo)

Standard international pattern playing cards made in occupied Japan, c.1950.

1950 Japan USA Nintendo Standard Playing Card Co. Chandelier Add to Collection

Japan was occupied and administered by the victorious Allies of World War II from the surrender of the Empire of Japan on 2 September 1945 at the end of the war until the Treaty of San Francisco took effect on 28 April 1952. Given the legend (“MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN”) on the tuck flap of the box for this pack, these cards must date from that period. The familiar “n” logo for Nintendo appears on the Ace of Spades although the tuck box is inscribed “THE STANDARD PLAYING CARD CO.” along one edge. The card quality is poor and the colour of the card is off-white, no doubt because of post-war restrictions or shortages. One card – the Jack of Spades – has been miscut. The numeral cards are plain. Three Brownies are featured on the Joker. These characters (made popular by the Canadian illustrator and author Palmer Cox) had previously appeared on the Joker in at least two packs by the National Card Co. of Indianapolis and New York. Why this design was used again fifty years later in Japan remains something of a mystery. See the box

Chandelier No. 55 playing cards made by The Standard Playing Card Co. (Nintendo), Japan, c1950 Chandelier No. 55 playing cards made by The Standard Playing Card Co. (Nintendo), Japan, c1950

Above: Chandelier No. 55 playing cards made by The Standard Playing Card Co. (Nintendo), Japan, c1950. 52 cards + 1 Joker + 1 bridge score card/extra Joker in tuck box. Size: 60.5 x 87 mm.

• National Playing Card Company: Full House Poker No.555

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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