WADDINGTON   SURPRISE
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The court cards donít have names, nor can we find any resemblance of the depicted Kings or Queens to existing royalty. So they probably show fantasy figures of Kings, Queens and their servants, in 19th century costumes. There are 4 small suit symbols, one in each corner, but two larger ones are placed, next to the heads, on the left. The indices are relatively small, but remarkable. Although the printer is English, the commissioner Danish and their clients mostly Danish and Norwegian, the chosen indices are German.

It is not a particularly beautiful deck. Although the designs by themselves are well drawn (see that beautiful Queen of Diamonds), the used printing technique doesnít do them justice. It is a rude, early, offset technique, which was probably hard to calibrate too. The enlarged picture is illustrative.

Still, we are very happy to have this deck in our collection. Unlike in other European countries such as Germany or France, English cardmakers somehow havenít produced that many non-standard decks, so itís extra nice to find an older one. Of course we are happy to share this deck with you here.

 

The WADDINGTON Playing Card Collection

John Berry (1929-2004) was asked to make a catalogue of all the material from the Waddington collection that was deposited at the Guildhall Library in London in 1996. This material consisted of decks, price lists, sample books, trade catalogues etc. From all this John Berry made an outstanding catalogue, entitled "The Waddington Playing-card Collection", in 2 volumes.
In the first volume (150 pages), which was finished in 2005 by Keith Jennings, John Berry gives an introduction to the collection, a history of the company and shows colour pictures of non-standard decks and backs with factory and advertising designs. All done with detailed information about the decks and backs.
The second volume (285 pages) deals with the decks from the Waddington Collection that were made by other British or American and European playing card manufacturers. Again with detailed information about all these decks.
If you are interested to own a copy of this informative and well documented work, contact the IPCS here. We're pretty sure that they can help out.

However, John Berry could only describe the material that was deposited and obviously that wasn't the complete picture. This non-standard Waddington deck isn't shown in the catalogue and on the next page you'll find two decks that were not depicted in John Berry's books either, although there's a reference to one of them.

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