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Published April 05, 2010 Updated July 23, 2022

John Llewellyn, playing card manufacturer, London, 1778-1785

John Llewellyn, playing card manufacturer, London, 1778-1785

United Kingdom Llewellyn Moguls History 1780
Wrapper by John Llewellyn, playing card manufacturer, London, 1778-1785

ohn Llewellyn was a playing card manufacturer active between the years 1778-1785. During this period he traded at No. 25 Piccadilly, London. The image above shows an unopened pack of Great Mogul playing cards, in it's original wrapper, still bound with the string and showing the embossed tax stamps. 'Her majesty' would have been Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. It is not known whether John Llewellyn was a Welshman, or a descendant of a Welsh family who had moved away, but it seems likely. His name is not in the list of liverymen of The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards nor does it appear in British Library records. Little is known about him.

Right: ‘Garter’ Ace of Spades by Llewellyn, from the reign of King George III →
The corresponding court cards are shown below. Images courtesy Ken Lodge.

Hall took over the address (and the business?) in 1785.

Cards by John Llewellyn, playing card manufacturer, London, 1778-1785

Above: the ace of spades has "six pence addl. duty" printed around the sides, which was valid from 1776-1789. The court cards are printed from woodblocks and coloured using a brush and stencils. The court card designs and ace of spades are completely standard English pattern and there is no suggestion or concession towards Welsh nationality. Some of the court cards are not stylistically consistent (eg queen of diamonds) but resemble those made by other manufacturers (i.e. Gibson/Hunt) as woodblock makers were freelance and supplied more than one customer.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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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.


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