A Gallery of Standard English Playing Cards

Welcome! In the galleries, you'll find examples of cards from around 1680 to 1900.

Made in England

Plain Aces and Hand-Stamped Aces

- referred to here as Series 'P'

Examples of very Early Standard English Playing Cards, before 1765.
From 1765 a decorative design came in for the Ace of Spades to reflect a new taxation basis.
These cards and most of those until around 1850 had plain card backs

Garter Ace Cards to 1801

- referred to here as Series 'A'

Cards from 1765-1801, Early standard cards with full-length court figures. Makers named on the duty ace of spades, which also roughly dates the cards.
Garter Ace Cards 1801 - 1828

- referred to here as Series 'B'
Cards from 1801-1828, Early standard cards with full-length court figures. Makers named on the duty ace of spades, which also roughly dates the cards.
'Old Frizzle' Aces

- referred to here as Series 'F'

Cards from 1828-1862 'Old Frizzle' Aces. This period sees changes in the cards - principally the adoption of double-ended court cards.

Makers' Aces

- referred to here as Series 'M'
From 1862 card makers prepared their own aces. In this period indices were added - including some interesting early experiments - and corners became rounded. By 1900 the cards are indistinguishable from those we use today.

Century 21

In 2006 we bought a representative sample of contemporary standard cards from a number of major US and European makers. This series also shows pages of each court card as portrayed by 8 different makers

International: American and European

USA by MAKER

- referred to here as Series ' I '

US Makers, Alphabetically


USA by DATE

- referred to here as Series ' I '

US Makers by date of manufacture

European Makers

- referred to here as Series ' I '
English standards by European makers

All images may be used for personal or not-for-profit use without constraint.
The images may also be used, with an acknowledgement, in private publications.

© Paul Bostock 2008-2015