The World of Playing Cards Logo

Squared Faro #366

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

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

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator 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.


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.

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.

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.

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.

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.

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.

1989 Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

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

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.

1976 Maya Deck

Maya Deck

The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.

Caleb Bartlett

Caleb Bartlett

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

1951 Snap

Snap

Snap card game illustrated with animals, by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

1951 Roundup

Roundup

Roundup card game by Whitman Publishing, 1951.

1951 Old Maid

Old Maid

Old Maid card game by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

1951 Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Animal Rummy

Animal Rummy

Animal Rummy by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

1951 Authors

Authors

Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

1951 Whitman 8 Game Box

Whitman 8 Game Box

Whitman 8 Card Games boxed set, 1951.

1974 Paddington

Paddington

Paddington card game published in UK by Whitman.

Avilude or Game of Birds

Avilude or Game of Birds

Avilude or Game of Birds published by West & Lee, Worcester, Mass, c.1880.

1970 Whitman card games

Whitman card games

In the 1970s Whitman Publishing Co. ordered a series of popular games from Hong Kong for the UK market.

2018 Timothy Curtis Art

Timothy Curtis Art

Timothy Curtis Art custom Bicycle playing cards, 2018.

1975 Hanky-Panky

Hanky-Panky

Hanky-Panky poker card game, California, c.1975.

RCI Playing Cards

RCI Playing Cards

RCI Playing Cards, a 20th century playing-card maker of Minneapolis, 1969-1985.

2015 Bicycle Steampunk

Bicycle Steampunk

Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.

1895 Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair No.41 Playing Cards by the United States Playing Card Co, 1895. All the number cards have been imaginatively transformed.