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August 2015: Further Secondary Use Cards


July 2015: Further Early French Single Court Cards


June 2015: A Collection of Early French Single Court Cards


June 2015: A Blanchard packfrom the WCMPC Collection

An early pack by Christopher Blanchard, see the page for more details


May 2014 Tax Wrappers and Proofs

From 1744 onwards, the Tax Office printed a combined label and wrapper for cards.
This collection (see PDF) contains a number of examples of proofs from 1744 and later
At that time, makers' names did not appear on the cards, so these lables are some of the only remaining records of individual makers from this era.

Full Collection


May 2014 A number of tax proof

From 1765 onwards, English makers of playing cards had to register their A♠ with the Tax Office. The duty payable on the cards changed over time, and this gives us a way of establishing a date - normally within a period of a few years. As well as the cards themselves, proof copies of these ‘Duty Aces’ have survived. Although they registered their A♠, cards by Gray are not known, and Yates and Barnes are very rare.

Another puzzle is that Reynolds also registered Aces years before any production. Note that as these are proofs on paper, the size and shape of the surround has no significance

Full Collection

May 2014

A Stopforth pack from around 1830 and still in its wrapper!

Also fairly rare to see a standard Stopforth & Son this late - the AS is 'Old Frizzle', after 1828


Dec 2013

A lovely illuminated deck by L I Cohen
from around 1840 - Hochman NY5


Oct 2013

A faro deck with GR tax cipher from around 1763. The deck and identification of Hart as the maker were described in The Playing Card, Vol 42 No 3, Jan - Mar 2014.


Feb 2013

An Experimental deck by Ludlow and Wheeler - interesting that the new style of pips apparently necessitated this rather odd redrawing of the courts


Jan 2013

A 4th Quality deck by Goodall with 32 cards - often used in Bezique sets.


May 2013

A Reynolds pack from the Old Frizzle period, with standard Reynolds 'R1' Courts.
Note the crimped edges - presumably an experiment. Not many of these are known, so the experiment was presumably not popular with players!


April 2013

A forged sheet made around 1800. Notice that the Ace of Spades (bottom right) has been printed. Aces of Spades were officially printed by the Tax Office using far more expensive and more detailed plates. The maker would then pay the Duty and receive the Aces - a process that has been bypassed here!


January 2012

This is a very early US maker, John Casenave, thought to date from 1805 although the courts look later. It is Hochman type U33.


January 2012

This is another very early US maker, J Y Humphreys, dating from 1816. There are on ly a few examples by this maker and these each have different court designs.


January 2012

This is an Early US maker Caleb Bartlett, dating from around 1830. One nice feature of the courts is that they all have the makers initials embedded in the design!


January 2012

Historically and visually interesting: this is the first pack by Andrew Dougherty, Hochman type 'AD1'. The courts are standard in concept but quite unconventional in detail. Reminiscent of De La Rue's early pack in that it was an attempt to introduce a new design, and like De La Rue, Dougherty's later designs were to revert to the more conventional.


January 2012

A deck by Mauger (produced by Goodall) with this colourful and rather sinister joker.


January 2012

A deck by Levy with a highly original but politically incorrect joker known as the'Heathen Chinee'.