The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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12:54pm on Sunday, 26th August, 2018:

Single Figures


I bought these off eBay last week:

They're among the oldest full-sized cards in my collection. As you can see, they use single-figure courts, rather than the double-ended ones we have today; that dates them to 1830 or earlier, although some manufacturers did keep making them up to the 1860s. The seller figured they were from about 1820, but I don't know on what basis. With no Ace of Spades, it's hard to figure out anything about their origins, but the back is pretty much the same as a Hunt & Sons pack I have so that would be my guess.

Cards of this age are getting quite expensive now — over £100 a pack. I was able to afford these because the set is incomplete, comprising only the following: A, 7, 9, 10, J, Q, K of Hearts; A, 7, 8, 10, J, Q of Clubs; 7, K of Diamonds; 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K of Spades. Still, they're in very good condition for their age, and I'm pleased to have them. I may even frame some, as I won't feel as if I'm splitting them up if I do that (given that they're split up already).

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).