English Playing Cards
Mid 19th Century
English handmade playing cards
English handmade playing cards

English Playing Cards
English: Mid 19th Century
Pen and ink, watercolor on card
2.5 x 3.5 inches each
$750, set of 33 cards

An unique and original manuscript artistic set of playing cards. The four aces and 12 courts are all present (suitable for framing), but many pips are missing (six spades, six hearts, three clubs and four diamonds). There are 33 cards in all. They are executed in traditional English design, square-cornered, normal sized, and on regular pasteboard stock. The design for the back incorporates elements of the British royal coat of arms: a lion, a unicorn, a crown and the motto "Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense." It is not known whether this was an artist's prototype for a deck or whether the cards were drawn by an individual for personal use.

Provenance: U.S. Games Systems, Inc. and the Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan Playing Card Collection.

Condition: Generally very good, with usual and expected soil, toning and wear.


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