The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published November 14, 2019 Updated March 20, 2022

Squared Faro #366

Squared Faro #366 by Russell & Morgan Co. first issued in 1887.

1887 USA Russell & Morgan Faro Add to Collection
Ace of Spades by Russell & Morgan Co. c.1888

Squared Faro #366   1887-1900

Squared Faro #366 was first produced by Russell & Morgan Co. in 1887 to supply gambling casinos. The cards have square corners and are one of two known USPC decks made without indices. The court cards are full-length figures which contain many of the idiosyncratic features associated with designs re-copied from the woodblock era. The numeral cards are double-ended. The brand was still sold until 1900. The Russell & Morgan Co. Ace of Spades was used throughout the entire life of the brand.

Squared Faro #366, published by Russell & Morgan Co. c.1887

Above: Squared Faro #366 playing cards published by Russell & Morgan Co. c.1887. The court cards are full-length, but the numeral cards are double-ended. There is enough margin around the court cards to allow for trimming several times during the cards' lifetime. Images by kind permission of Mike Jacobs.

From the beginning the company used the most modern equipment. A card-punching machine enabled cards to be punched quickly and accurately from the printed sheets, which gave greater precision than the manual method of cutting and trimming cards used prior to that time.

REFERENCES:

Dawson, Tom & Judy: The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, U.S. Games Systems Inc., 2000

Hargrave, Catherine Perry: A History of Playing Cards and a Bibliography of Cards and Gaming, Dover Publications, New York, 1966


Faro Vintage Playing Cards

Reviewed by Matt Probert   ::   Produced by Will Roya for PlayingCardDecks.com

Faro Vintage Playing Cards are a reproduction custom pack aimed at collectors and magicians, based on the "Squared Faro #366" by Russell & Morgan Co. produced from 1887 to 1900 to supply gambling casinos across the USA, where the gambling card game 'Faro' was very popular at the time.

Like the 19th century originals, the reproduction pack is cut to poker width, without corner indices and features full-length one way court images based upon earlier wood block designs. In addition, the reproduction packs include two jokers (based on Russell & Morgan Co Bicycle brand jokers) and two gaff cards: a simple ace of spades and a double-back card to further expand the scope for use by card magicians.

Faro Vintage Playing Cards, 2019

Above: Faro Vintage Playing Cards produced by card magician Will Roya, illustrated by Azured Ox, manufactured by USPCC in 2019 in two colours: red and blue (strangely not the original green, which I should like to see) in a limited edition of 2000 packs of each colour. Packs are sold either as a pair comprising one pack of each colour; individually or as an uncut sheet.

Each pack is supplied in a colour coordinated box - either red or blue, corresponding to the colour of the backs of the cards inside, and printed with gold ink and sealed with an imitation tax stamp (of a design used between 1894 and 1896) and wrapped in cellophane.

To prevent the cards being passed off as "originals" the ace of spades in the reproduction pack differs slightly from the original - the printed design is slightly larger and lacks the trademark registration details of the original. The border around the cards has also been slightly reduced, and the cards have been cut with rounded corners, rather than the square corners of the orignals. These minor alterations in no way detract from their use in theatre, but should prevent them being sold by the unscrupulous as rare 19th century originals.

Faro Vintage Playing Cards, 2019

Above: decks include two-way pip cards, an extra simple ace of spades and a double-back card to expand the scope for card magicians.

The cards are produced on Bicycle playing card paper, in poker width, with the same embossing and finish to provide the same finish that is preferred by card magicians, one of the key target audiences for this pack. As a magic theatre prop these cards excel. Any card magician wishing to perform a "Wild West" themed routine will find these a real asset in adding a touch of realism and theatre to the act, while for collectors the pack offers an opportunity to own the art work without having to pay the earth trying to source an extremely rare original.

See also:   U.S.A.Bicycle No.808Bicycle SecondsCongress No.606Jumbo Bridge No.88Historic BostonVanity Fair.

avatar
1,432 Articles

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

2003 Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards designed to reinforce the “Think and Be Safe” concept.

2016 Politicards 2016 & Politikids 2016

Politicards 2016 & Politikids 2016

Politicards™ 2016 & Politikids 2016: twin decks of satirical playing cards produced by Peter Green f...

2004 K Deck

K Deck

“K Deck” political playing cards, USA, c. 2004.

2016 Tuxedo playing cards

Tuxedo playing cards

Stylish ‘Tuxedo’ playing cards with animal faces created by Natalia Silva, USA, 2016.

2003 The Deck of Hillary

The Deck of Hillary

‘The Deck of Hillary’ with quotes and photographs of Hillary Clinton, USA, 2003.

2005 Shakespeare playing cards: Insults

Shakespeare playing cards: Insults

Shakespeare Insults playing cards with portraits by Jan Padover, USA, 2005.

2004 Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes, the first volume of a double set published by Prospero Art of San...

2012 Old Testament playing cards

Old Testament playing cards

Old Testament playing cards with illustrations by Jan Padover, USA, 2012.

2008 Politicards 2008

Politicards 2008

Politicards ’08 with caricatures cast as characters from classic movies, USA.

2003 Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars playing cards with mug shots of the rich and famous under arrest, USA, 2003.

2003 House of Cards: Deck of Bush

House of Cards: Deck of Bush

House of Cards: Deck of Bush playing cards presenting reasons not to re-elect President Bush for a s...

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort whiskey playing cards, USA.

2011 Holy Trinity Church playing cards

Holy Trinity Church playing cards

Holy Trinity Church commemoration playing cards, USA, 2011.

1992 Batman® playing cards

Batman® playing cards

Characters from Batman: The Animated Series on a pack issued in 1992.

2010 FDR New Deal Deck

FDR New Deal Deck

Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.

2008 Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites

Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites

Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites, USA, 2008

2008 Politically Wild John McCain

Politically Wild John McCain

“Politically Wild John McCain” published by Newt’s Playing Cards, USA, 2008.

Mohegan Sun playing cards

Mohegan Sun playing cards

Mohegan Sun playing cards published by Gemaco for Mohegan Sun casino.

1970 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Strange facts from Robert Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ books, in the form of cartoons.

2020 Undressed deck

Undressed deck

Undressed deck created by Edi Rudo and Néro Catineau, USA, 2020.

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards published by Merrimack Publishing Corporation, USA.

2004 Politicards 2004

Politicards 2004

Politicards 2004 with satirical cartoons by the award-winning illustrator Peter Green, USA.

1972 Politicards 1971

Politicards 1971

Politicards 1971 for the presidential election in which Richard Nixon won a landslide victory.

1996 Politicards 1996

Politicards 1996

Politicards ’96 with satirical caricatures on every card by Peter Green, USA.

1984 Politicards 1984

Politicards 1984

Politicards 1984 with caricatures by Donald Gates, published by the Kamber Group, USA.

1980 Politicards 1980

Politicards 1980

Politicards 1980 in which Ronald Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter, with caricatures by Kei...

1981 Card Tricks

Card Tricks

Stereotypical representations of gay men and men they most admire, in a 1981 pack from San Francisco...

1974 Royal flash playing cards

Royal flash playing cards

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

1975 Ms. playing cards

Ms. playing cards

‘Ms. playing cards’ promoting votes for women, USA, 1975.

1986 Old Met playing cards

Old Met playing cards

Old Met playing cards published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, USA, 1986.

2016 Don Quixote playing cards

Don Quixote playing cards

Don Quixote playing cards designed by Nam Tibon, USA, 2016.

2017 Calaveras De Azúcar

Calaveras De Azúcar

Calaveras De Azúcar playing cards produced by Natalia Silva, USA, 2017.

52 Ways to talk about adoption

52 Ways to talk about adoption

‘52 Ways to talk about adoption’ family-centred playing cards produced by the Center for Adoption Su...

2017 Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards produced by Natalia Silva, USA, 2017.

2016 Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards produced by the Godesky brothers, USA, 2016.

1967 Winstanley Geographical cards

Winstanley Geographical cards

Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.

Brooks dna playing cards

Brooks dna playing cards

Brooks dna playing cards produced by Gemaco for Brooks running shoes.

1986 Artist’s Aces of Spades

Artist’s Aces of Spades

Artist’s Aces of Spades deck published by Robert Billingsley, USA, 1986.

1971 Meal Tub Plot

Meal Tub Plot

Meal Tub Plot playing cards [facsimile] with 17th century sketches by Francis Barlow.

2020 5th Kingdom playing cards

5th Kingdom playing cards

5th Kingdom Luxury playing cards designed by Maria Fedoseeva, USA, 2020.