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2014-01-19 10:23:00
W. B. (William Bowes)
Geographical Playing Cards
n.p.: n.p., 1590. Near fine. Hardcover. & Two suits (of four) of the first set of playing cards to depict English and Welsh counties. Sometimes known as Elizabethan Playing Cards or Memory Cards. The East and West suits only, lacking the North and South suits. & & Printed on thin vellum from engraved copper plates, without suit marks and with plain backs, each card has a small map within a square frame consisting of different designs; in a reserved space above is text as to the areas of the county indicated, while in a similar space below some details are given as to the nature and products of the soil. Each card is numbered in Roman numerals I to XIII at corners of the map centers. The suits are distinguished by the patterns of the square space (interior of the framework) surrounding the maps, and might be called scrolls for the 'East' counties and clouds for the 'West' counties. (Not present are the North and South suits.) & & Each suit has two additional cards, one considered the title, and an ending card with additional textual information. Present here is (1) Heraldic plate with the Royal arms, the designer's initials (W.B.), the date (1590) and notes on monarchs from Edward III; (2) portrait of Queen Elizabeth, copied from the frontispiece of Saxton's Atlas of 1579; plus (3) and (4), two cards with descriptive text only. & & Only one complete pack of these cards is known, held by the British Museum. It is hand-colored and mounted on card for playing. Prior to its accession in the 1930's, only an incomplete set of uncut sheets printed on pap … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Thorn Books
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