Antique playing cards four kings spades hearts diamonds clubs - Stock Image

Signature Collection
  • S
  • M
  • L
  • XL
  • XXL
  • XXXL
Standard license only
You need XX iStock Credits to download this photo
You need 1 iStock Credit to download this photo
Already have credits or subscription? Sign in

You've got XX/XX downloads / remaining.

Having troubles with the download? Start downloading

You can return to re-download this image at any time before your subscription term ends.

You have 0 subscription downloads left

It looks like you're out of subscription downloads for the but you've still got XX iStock credits in your account.
It looks like you're out of subscription downloads for the .
You can still download this image with iStock credits.

Unable to download file

We're unable to process your download at this time. Please try again later. If the problem persists, contact us.
Description
These four 19th century King playing cards (King of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs) date from around 1864. They were printed by Thomas de la Rue in London. The cards are 62mm x 88mm in size, and they have no indices (no letters or numbers at the top and bottom).

It was typical of this time that, on a court card, the suit symbol might lie on the left- or the right-hand side. With kings, all lie on the left. The pictures are, as in modern court cards, reversible top-to-bottom.

Cards such as this, depicting a person, are called face cards. Since they show Kings, they are also court cards. Relatively modern designs such as this have their roots in the French manufacturing centre of Rouen, in the 16th century.

Thomas de la Rue was born in Le Bourg, Guernsey, in 1793. Here he gained his knowledge of printing from his father, before moving to London in 1818. By 1853, the author Charles Dickens was praising the company for its fine work, in an article titled A Pack Of Cards. Thomas de la Rue became known as 'the father of the English playing card'.

Below: links to more playing cards (not antique).

file_thumbview_approve file_thumbview_approve file_thumbview_approve file_thumbview_approve file_thumbview_approve file_thumbview_approve

More playing cards (antique and modern)
More UK Past
Not a member?Join