Playing on

Card deck

ca. 1890

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

This card deck may be hand printed and possibly hand made. It is unusual for any American card deck to feature a blank ace of spades. The ace simply shows one spade. Nearly all of the early American card makers featured some form of eagle around the central spade and often a maker's mark. In England as well, tax laws forced card makers to design the ace in specific ways, to prove the playing card tax was paid. This unusual deck does feature two-way face cards--an innovation designed so that players didn't need to turn cards to see what they were holding. And the royal imagery is different than most. Possibly they date from late in the 19th century, when game manufacturing in America really began to grow.

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  • Title: Card deck
  • Date Created: ca. 1890
  • Type: Card Games
  • Medium: cardstock, printed


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