The World of Playing Cards Logo

Bicycle Knights

Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018.

Bicycle knights playing cards manufactured and published by the US Playing Card Company in 2018 for playingcarddecks.com

The art work is by Sam Hayles (www.dose-productions.com) an Edinburgh-based independent design consultant and graphic designer known for his playing card and record sleeve art work, often of a Gothic, slightly macabre style. Sam spent time as a designer and worked for a few agencies, before becoming independent in 2004 to focus on his own designs and this gave him the chance to develop his own unique style. Apparently he finds digital graphics so interesting that he does it in his free time!

The background to each card is coloured in a very pleasing mottled vintage effect resembling parchment which sets off the somewhat dark and Gothic primary designs. Each pack is individually numbered on a custom tuck box seal, and comes from a limited edition of just 2500 packs.

Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018 Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018

Above: The court cards are all similar, yet different duplex suits of armour drawn from the waist up with their relevant suit indicator to the left and choice of weapon. With a nod to Anglo-American playing card tradition, the king of hearts is depicted with his sword piercing the back of his head. Otherwise the courts are completely non-standard and original.

The aces are all circular shields, with their relevant suit embossed in the centre.

Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018
Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018

Above: Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018. Each pack is produced on Bicycle brand premium card stock with the unique Bicycle air-cushion finish, cut to poker-width; and comprises 52 cards + 2 Jokers and 2 magician’s "gaff cards" in box.

The scarlet highlights, particularly of the courts, remind me of a modern fantasy as if the knights have been painted at the moment of being impacted by multiple bullets fired from an automatic weapon. An effect I am sure will appeal to modern audiences, particularly those who like the Gothic fashion or slightly more macabre magic style of Penn and Teller, for this pack of cards was designed and produced with collectors and card magicians in mind. To this end two extra "gaff" cards are included. One is an alternative five of hearts, subtly different in design to the main-pack five of hearts. The other is a second king of diamonds over printed in one corner with the remains of a five of spades which has apparently stuck and been torn away.

avatar

By Matt Probert

Member since March 02, 2012

View Articles

I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.

Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.

Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.

I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

1986 Helmsley Hotels

Helmsley Hotels

Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.

2014 Encarded First Edition by Paul Carpenter

Encarded First Edition by Paul Carpenter

The Encarded First Edition is a limited edition of 2,500 designed by Paul Carpenter and manufactured by the Expert Playing Card Company.

Jeu de Tarot Pocket Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Jeu de Tarot Pocket Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Tarot game pack with fantasy sci-fi artwork on the trumps published by Pocket SF, France.

2005 Bush Cards – The Second Term

Bush Cards – The Second Term

Cards slanted to the right, issued to mark George W. Bush’s second term of office.

2019 National Playing Cards by Theory11

National Playing Cards by Theory11

Playing cards inspired by mysterious symbolism of secret societies as well as a tribute to the National Playing Card Co.

2012 Monarchs Playing Cards by Theory11

Monarchs Playing Cards by Theory11

Monarchs luxury playing cards by Theory11, featured in the film Now You See Me.

2015 Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.

2000 San Playing Cards

San Playing Cards

Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.

2003 Alcatraz: Rules and Regulations Playing Cards

Alcatraz: Rules and Regulations Playing Cards

Rules and regulations that guided prison life in America’s most notorious prison.

2021 Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.

2014 A. Dougherty’s Triplicate Recreation

A. Dougherty’s Triplicate Recreation

A recreated of the original 1876, No. 18, Triplicate deck by A. Dougherty by Michael Scott in 2014.

2019 Triangle Playing Cards

Triangle Playing Cards

Triangle Playing Cards by Michael Scott.

1970 Notched Construction Cards

Notched Construction Cards

Two Notched Construction Card Sets by Shackman & Co, N.Y. 1970s.

1935 Müller: Richelieu

Müller: Richelieu

This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.

1906 Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.

1870 Transformation Cards for Christmas

Transformation Cards for Christmas

Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.

2020 Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards

Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards

Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards by Sunish Chabba, 2020.

Spyscape

Spyscape

Spyscape espionage, surveillance and cryptography themed playing cards, 2018.

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.

1940 Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.

1953 Vargas Girls

Vargas Girls

‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.

2003 Alice

Alice

Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

Pulp Pin-Up

Pulp Pin-Up

Classic 1940s Pulp Pin-Up covers on playing cards from China, c.2010.

2003 Liberty

Liberty

Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

1942 Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.

2011 Curator

Curator

The Curator Deck with designs by Emmanuel José with suit symbols cleverly transformed into artistic designs.

1990 Baracca & Burattini

Baracca & Burattini

Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.

1989 Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989

2005 Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.

Warren Paper Products

Warren Paper Products

Warren Paper Products Co., Lafayette, Indiana, publishers of Built-Rite toys, games and puzzles.

1986 Christmas Playing Cards

Christmas Playing Cards

Christmas Playing Cards published by Novelty Playing Cards, Syracuse, New York, 1986.

Hamm’s Beer

Hamm’s Beer

Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.

Victory

Victory

“Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945.

1988 Seefahrers II

Seefahrers II

‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.

1980 Sanyo Ukiyo-E

Sanyo Ukiyo-E

Ukiyo-E deck for Sanyo Enterprise Co.

1979 Year of the Child

Year of the Child

Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.

1976 Maya Deck

Maya Deck

The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.

1986 Einhorn

Einhorn

‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.

Caleb Bartlett

Caleb Bartlett

Caleb Bartlett patriotic deck (reproduction), around 1835-40.