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25 results, ordered by Publication Date

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“Das Kriegs Spiel:” an early military card game

Published around 1700, this Kriegs Spiel, or “The War Game,” is a scarce and attractive sheet of playing cards designed to educate young people in the elements of conducting a military campaign. The sheet comprises 53 engraved panels numbered sequentially. All but one is a playing card using the French suits, each bearing an illustration of a military maneuver or fortification […]

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A 17th-century military card game

An early, attractive, and scarce sheet of playing cards designed for military education. The sheet comprises 53 engraved panels numbered sequentially. All but one panel is a playing card using the French suits, each bearing an illustration of a military maneuver or fortification element along with a brief explanatory text. Along the top of the […]

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Civil War playing cards

A complete set of Civil War period playing cards, employing eagle, star, shield, and flag artwork in lieu of the more traditional suits. The Jack and King are represented by officers and the Queen by Lady Liberty. “[The] American Card Company was operated by Benjamin W. Hitchcock, owner of a music and publishing business at 14 […]

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Unrecorded set of geographical playing cards

A rare American history card game for children. The deck consists of an explanation card, 11 cards representing the Presidents, and 28 representing the states of the Union. The Presidential cards are illustrated with portraits and the state cards with state seals. Facts relating to the subject at hand are printed on each card. The game […]

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Very rare deck of astronomical playing cards

A very rare early 19th-century playing cards designed to educate players on “the sublime Science of Astronomy.” The set consists of 52 cards in 4 suits, as with a regular pack of cards. Here, however, each suit is assigned a season: Hearts represent Spring; Diamonds, Summer; Clubs, Autumn; and Spades, Winter. Cards 1 through 7 of […]

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17th-century geographic playing cards

A delightful and excessively rare deck of hand-colored geographic playing cards, complete and in brilliant condition. The deck consists of 52 cards in 4 suits, as with a regular pack of cards. Here, however, each suit is assigned a continent: Hearts represent Europe; diamonds, Africa; spades, Asia; and clubs the Americas. The Ace through Queen of […]

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Rare set of geographic playing cards

A complete and uncut set of a charming geographical card game, scarce in this condition. The game includes 52 cards arranged in the usual four suits, each dedicated to a different continent: hearts to Europe, diamonds to Asia, spades to Africa, and clubs to the Americas. Each card features a kingdom or region followed by a list […]

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An amazing Revolutionary-era ephemeron

Patriotic verse printed on the back of a playing card in pre-Revolutionary New York. This wonderful ephemeron is neither dated nor signed, but Evans attributes it to New York printer John Holt in 1768. This view is elaborated on in Luke John Feder’s The Sense of the City: Politics and Culture in Pre-Revolutionary New York City. […]

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Revolutionary-era ephemeron, on the verso of a four of Diamonds!

New York City’s proposed delegates to the First Continental Congress, printed on the back of a playing card. In the Spring of 1774 the first Continental Congress was announced, with the goal of providing a venue for the 13 colonies to develop a unified response to the high-handed actions of the British government. The most recent […]

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Delightful deck of cartographic playing cards

A rare and delightful deck of hand-colored geographic playing cards, complete and in brilliant condition. The deck consists of 52 cards in 4 suits, with each suit corresponding to a continent: hearts represent Europe; clubs, Africa; diamonds, Asia; and spades, the Americas. The ace of each suit bears a continent map, the two through ten feature […]

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