in several posts, i mentioned that i collect playing cards. actually, although i have several reference books on the subject, i really don't collect playing cards. they just present themselves as irresistible pieces of artwork. mind you, often it is a card with just a club beautifully centered in a white rectangle. i am hopelessly in love with the endless variation. here are four that i picked up at an ephemera fair years ago. if i remember the price, it’s usually because i paid more than i should have. since i don't remember how much these cost, it must not have been too much. as with so much in my collection, i know little about these cards and, unfortunately, i do not own the entire deck. however, these four cards are enough to make me smile. 'a batch of barristers' is so amusing. hearts and spades as faces. tea cartons as diamonds. i can't image how the clubs were used. i search for playing cards
on ebay but have never seen anything like these. there is one particular dealer who has many nineteenth-century cards, often just selling one card from the deck. like so many categories of collecting, this is a culture unto its own, with its terminology, grades and rarities. i have no idea where these cards fall, but i bought them because they are unique to my eye and I was happy to add them to what is now a collection of playing cards.