The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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6:13pm on Tuesday, 4th February, 2020:
I bought some more old playing cards last week. I wasn't expecting to do so because my bid was low, but it wasn't exceeded so here we are!
These are by De La Rue of London, and date from about 1865. We can tell the manufacturer because it says who they are on the Ace of Spades, but I thought I'd show you the clubs for a change so you can see what an ordinary ace looks like. We roughly know the date because the corners are slightly rounded (not as much as they would be today, but back then it was an innovation) and there are no indeces on the cards. This would suggest 1870 at the latest. However, note that the club on the Jack and Queen of Clubs is on the right, whereas for the King it's on the left. This is an "unturned" design, meaning that the cards have yet to be turned so the suit is in the right place. It's more like 1860 than 1870; 1865 is therefore a good compromise date, but it could be 5 years either way of that.
For those interested enough to be still reading this, the full list of picture cards that are unturned is: JH, JC, QC, JD, QD, QS. No kings are ever unturned, because they all have the suit in the right place already.
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