English Illustrated Playing Cards from 1801 to 1901

1828 Charles Hodges New Geographical Playing Cards

Charles Hodges operated as a bookseller and stationer at 27 Portman Street, Portman Square, London, from 1825-6 until 1830.

Following in the tradition of engraved pictorial playing cards, depicting educational, scientific and other subjects, which had its heyday in England during the 17th-18th centuries, Hodges published these Geographical packs starting in around 1827.


The Geographical cards were probably inspired by a pack made in France by René Janet in 1825 called “Boston de l’Univers ou Jeu des quatre parties du Monde”.

These cards were most probably made for Hodges by Stopforth & Son in London. These are amongst the last of the finely engraved English packs as chromolithography was soon to take over.

There are a few shown here but click on any image to take you to the full set.

REF: CHG_1828



1863 Comic Fortune Telling Playing Cards

This is primarily a set of Fortune Telling Cards produced by Joseph Reynolds in 1865 Some people refer to this type of playing cards as ‘semi-transformation’ The Court cards are non-standard figures and are single ended The graphics take up most of the card with a framed/un-framed portion at the bottom with the ‘Fortune telling’ phrase, except for the Jack of Hearts, representing CUPID, where the caption appears appears at the top. Some of the phrases would not be PC these days – but this was over £150 years ago! The cards bearing the Club and Spade Suits are printed in Black throughout The Hearts and Diamond suits being in red throughout. This was fairly common with Fortune Telling games of the period 1800-1885. The directions for play is a photo of the original The cards are complete [ 52/52 ] and in very good condition; there is age related edge spotting which does not interfere with the content.
The cards have a plain pink back
A few examples are shown here but for the complete set click on the link below.

REF: CFTPC      


1865 Cavalier Playing Cards - Boxed set of 52

In 1885 Edmund Goldsmid, resident of Edinburgh, assisted in the reproduction of a set of Playing cards used by Admiral Lord Nelson.

This tasks was undertaken by the Aungervyle Society of Edinburgh and the Clarendon Historical Society as the expense, for small societies, needed to be shared.

This is the first Victorian reproduction of a pack of playing cards.

The pack owned by Nelson was short of two cards, the Three and Ace of Hearts – these were supplied from another source for the purpose of this reproduction.

This pack was produced in very limited card format and are scarce to find especially in the original box.

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