Published in 1904 by the United States Playing Card Company, this was the Company’s second ‘Nile’ fortune-telling pack. It is a standard pack with fortunes on all four sides or margins of every card – unlike the earlier ‘Nile’ pack (published in 1897) which had fortunes written only on the top and bottom margins. The pack also includes one “life card” and one blank card. The card reverse displays a sphinx with pyramids in the background. See the box►
See: Hochman encyclopedia of American playing cards, p. 245, no. FT12.
Here are some scans of my Nile Fortune Cards. It is the first edition of 1897, which only has two meanings per pip card, but none on the courts at all. I have laid out the same cards as Peter Burnett to show not only the lack of meanings on the courts, but also that the meanings on the other cards have all changed!!! My box is pretty shabby I'm afraid, and it actually has a 1903 tax stamp, so only just before the updated version from 1904. See the box►
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 Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
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‘Branle’ playing cards inspired by a 12th-century dance, produced by Noir Arts, USA, 2015.
Umbrella Academy playing cards created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, USA, 2019.
Romeo and Juliet playing cards illustrated by Belgian artist Virginie Carquin 2016.
Based on the knowledge, wisdom and interpretation of Paul Foster Case and Arthur Edward Waite.
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The Aquarian Tarot Deck illustrated by David Palladini, published by Morgan Press, Inc., 1970.
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Modern Italian fortune-telling pack from 1975, with designs by Sergio Ruffolo.