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Kem standard court cards

Kem Playing Cards

The Anglo-American standard actually exists in two forms. The one you are looking at here is not the one in most widespread circulation. This is a quirk or a variation, but still a standard of the Anglo-American type.

Originally, the Jack of Hearts and Jack of Spades were turned to the right and left respectively as they are here. And the suit symbol was placed to the right of their heads, as the space on the other side was occupied by their weapons. Here, reason gave way to form, and the tradition of the English court card was followed more truly.

Later, at some inauspicious time, the deck switched, and now all the Queens and Jacks faced the opposite way, and carried their weapons and flowers in opposite hands.

The move was made to standardize the deck, and place the suit symbols more visibly to the left side of our Royal Heads.


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


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.
DXPO Playing Cards: Exposé of early and contemporary European Standards.
International Playing Card Society Decline of the English Court Card.

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