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American Playing-Cards, Andrew Dougherty 1865

Andrew Dougherty 1865

Andrew Dougherty made this edition of "Illuminated Great Moguls" in 1865. Reputed for his crude workmanship in primitive conditions of his Brooklyn based workshop, these particular faces above, gold embossed, probably represent the pinnacle of Doughery's career. Other great masters of the same era, such as Lewis I. Cohen and Thomas de la Rue had similarly indulged themselves so this may have been somewhat of a moment of triumph for the all American card maker.

Andrew Dougherty began making playing cards in 1842, in Brooklyn, New York. His earliest work can in no way be described as some of the finest examples of craftsmanship from the era, but his tacit persistence would eventually pay off in establishing him as one of the big players American card making industry.

His playing cards were branded "American Cards" and came out with wrappers decorated with the all familiar American Eagle. His other contributions include "Army and Navy Cards" (1865). During the Civil War, it was he who issued cards decorated with the Union's Stars and Stripes which was a tacit reply to his English rivals, Goodall of London, who had draped Confederate flag on theirs. He was also to play a part in the introduction of corner side indices, introducing innovations which would eventually evolve into the components we take to make up the modern standard of today.

Andrew Dougherty continued work up until 1896 at which time he retired, handing control of the business over to his three sons. There is no doubt that his contributions form one of the cornerstones of American playing card history.

Further Reading

Regional Patterns of 18th Century France
The English Pattern
Gallery of Early Standard Playing Cards
WhiteKnuckle Standard Playing Cards



L I N K S

International Playing Card Society Decline of the English Court Card.
PlainBacks.com: Extensive gallery of early standard playing cards. Famous American and English makers. Plain Backs is a celebration of the English Court Card as a cultural design icon.
History of Playing Cards - Playing Cards.us: Brief History of Playing Cards
Sea Of Pain Fine Art Productions - Brett A. Jones works from his studio in Queensland, Australia. Only recently he has completed a rendition of the English Pattern.


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