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Early English playing card, Hewson 1680

L. Hewson (Circa 1680)

Very few examples of early English playing cards survive to this day. One of the reasons is that most of them were of such bad quality they simply didn't endure the centuries to appear in the modern day. Little, therefore is known about English manufacturers. The best known are Hewson from the 17th Century and Blanchard from the 18th Century. This example by L. Hewson shows the standard smudged beneath crude workmanship. Already by 1680 some important elements of the Rouen design had disappeared or were blurred beyond recognition, while others, though present, were much simpler and less detailed in form.

A comparison between this rendition by Hewson with the Rouen Pattern clearly shows its heritage.

Further Reading

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


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

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