You are Here:
Playing Card Ephemera

Author (Read 2364 times)

Playing Card Ephemera
« on: January 23, 2014, 08:14:26 PM »
 

52plusjoker

  • Frequent Flyer
  • *
  • 882
    Posts
  • Reputation: 49
Note 1 - This is a replacement posting with the same information as posted earlier today.
Note 2 - Clicking on the image will load a larger view in a separate tab

PLAYING CARD EPHEMERA
Many playing card collectors also have a fascination for related collectibles, for example items associated with card games or gambling, items with playing card images or motifs, or the ephemera that is associated with playing cards. An attempt to list all known playing card related objects would fill many posts and is beyond the scope of this post. Suffice to say, we have seen collectibles with playing card motifs in glass and porcelain, wood, paper, metals, fabrics, ivory, celluloid, plastics, and almost every other material known to man.

One area of interest to many collectors is commonly referred to as “playing card ephemera”. The word ephemera likely means different thing to different readers, but for our purpose we will define it as “items made from paper products which either use playing card images in a significant way or are associated with decks of playing cards or playing card manufacturers”. We say paper products because ephemera, by definition, means something that was not made to last and that, in most instances, was expected to be discarded within a reasonably short time of its use.

Examples of ephemera using playing card images would include postcards, general advertising, fruit labels, trade cards, calendars, posters and store cards. Ephemera more directly related to playing card manufacturers and their products would include product advertising, wrappers, extra cards, letterheads and envelopes, billheads, packaging and display boxes, booklets, trade cards, catalogs and price lists, salesman’s samples, and playing card tax stamps.

Like collecting the cards themselves, collecting playing card ephemera provides almost endless variety. This special area has become, for many card collectors, one of significant interest and fascination. It provides one with much more insight into the makers, and the quality and beauty of the ephemera itself adds greatly to the collector’s interest. It is interesting that, amongst people who collect various types of paper ephemera, items printed by the playing card manufacturers, especially those from about 1870 to 1920, are in great demand because of the high quality of the printing and lithography used by these quality printers in promoting their own products.

Playing card ephemera was made to be discarded after its intended use was over. Most of it is even more fragile, and consequently needs more tender care and preservation, than playing cards themselves. Storage in appropriate archival materials is a must, if one is to preserve the item to the best of one’s ability, thus keeping it for others to enjoy in the future and, incidentally, preserving its value.

A few examples below:
Some sterling silver spoons with a playing card motif. It is surprising how difficult it is to find these.


There are literally thousands of postcards with playing card images, people playing cards, cheating at cards, casinos, etc. Something for all tastes!


This is a wrapper from a deck of cards made in New York in the early 1800s. Rare to find such ephemera without the deck!


We have seen hundreds of sheet music covers with playing card themes. This one displays rather large playing card images. They are 19th century with the one-way courts, square corners and no indices.


Finally, another category that is hard to find – an old envelope from a playing card company – in this case New York Consolidated Card Co. which contained a few sample cards.


« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 08:19:21 PM by 52plusjoker »
Tom Dawson
52 Plus Joker Playing Card Collectors Club
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 01:55:38 PM »
 

spindles

  • Junior Member
  • *
  • 37
    Posts
  • Reputation: 3
Watches too! :)

I found this on eBay (no, I am not the seller) and thought it was really cool.

http://tinyurl.com/omegaplayingcard
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 10:38:20 PM »
 

52plusjoker

  • Frequent Flyer
  • *
  • 882
    Posts
  • Reputation: 49
Like it - a beauty by a well know watch company.
Tom Dawson
52 Plus Joker Playing Card Collectors Club
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2014, 06:43:35 PM »
 

52plusjoker

  • Frequent Flyer
  • *
  • 882
    Posts
  • Reputation: 49
Here's a couple of neat ephemera items I found getting ready for the 52 Plus Joker Convention in Charleston. Nice plate for gin and tonic drinkers and how would you like to win this trophy?
Tom Dawson
52 Plus Joker Playing Card Collectors Club
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2014, 12:54:45 AM »
 

Don Boyer

  • Vice President/Director of Digital Media, 52 Plus Joker
  • Administrator
  • Forum Sentinel
  • *
  • 17,912
    Posts
  • Reputation: 406
  • Pick a card, any card...no, not THAT card!

  • Facebook:
Here's a couple of neat ephemera items I found getting ready for the 52 Plus Joker Convention in Charleston. Nice plate for gin and tonic drinkers and how would you like to win this trophy?

Both are excellent pieces.  Some of the playing card-related items I see are rather amazing, really.  I still drool over that Omega watch from earlier in this topic!
Card Illusionist, NYC Area — Playing Card Design & Development Consultant
Services for Hire

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. — Mark Twain
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2015, 12:18:52 PM »
 

Worst Bower

  • True Member
  • *
  • 71
    Posts
  • Reputation: 2
I am wondering if ephemera also includes card game accessories. I'm trying to come up with a list of things that are associated with games either played casually, in competitions, or in casinos.

Multiple games: jetons/chips, cut cards, shuffling machine, dealing shoe, timer, card holders, card guards, dealer buttons, score cards
Baccarat pallets
Bridge boards and bidding boxes
Cribbage boards
Jass slates
Schnapsen (66) announcement kegs and Bummerlzähler
Whist markers

Calypso has its own equipment but it's a very obscure game and probably no one produces them anymore.

Some casino card games have specially designed tables with different surface layouts for poker, blackjack, and baccarat. Any other layouts?

I don't know of any card games (other than recently invented ones) that involve dice. Does anyone actually use poker dice?
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2015, 04:12:27 PM »
 

Don Boyer

  • Vice President/Director of Digital Media, 52 Plus Joker
  • Administrator
  • Forum Sentinel
  • *
  • 17,912
    Posts
  • Reputation: 406
  • Pick a card, any card...no, not THAT card!

  • Facebook:
Ephemera are objects that were not built to last, to the point that they were intended from the start to wear out, get used up or become irrelevant, and then to be disposed of or recycled.  The rarely-used singular form is ephemeron.  Playing cards themselves qualify as ephemera, as do many of the more popular collectible items.  Part of the challenge of collecting and perceived value of these items is their very nature as temporary objects not meant to survive for years on end.

Obscurity has never been a hindrance for a category of ephemera to be collectible - like the equipment for the game Calypso.  Some people collecting bartending tools and equipment - muddling sticks haven't seen much practical use in the last fifty-plus years, but there are still people who collecting them, despite the fact that there's only a single drink variant that makes use of the tool: a muddled Old-Fashioned.  Old-Fashioneds themselves are rarely ordered these days, never mind the muddled variety - it would be the rare bartender who could prepare one without resorting to a recipe book!  So if authentic muddling sticks can have value to a specific group of people (old-timey bartenders and bar tool collectors), why wouldn't pieces other than a pack of cards needed to play Calypso?

There are actual games one can play with a set of poker dice - but none of the ones I know of actually use cards.  They use only the dice to play.  I know there's also a variant game, similar to poker dice but played with more dice and a greater variety of faces, but I don't know enough about it - I can't even recall the name, though I have seen it stocked in Walgreens stores near the playing cards and the "LCR" dice game sets.

BTW: don't forget two other popular board games that use playing cards: Po-Ke-No and Sequence.  My family on my mother's side LOVES to play Sequence, though they only recently learned they were playing it wrong.  They added jokers to the deck and considered the blank corner spaces to be where you play a chip if you played a joker, instead of treating it as a WILD space that can be used by any player.  It completely changes the strategy of play, and they played that way for years because no one knew any better.

Reminds me of a story my father once told me - it's probably apocryphal, but it's entertaining nonetheless.  One day, my mother's preparing to roast a large piece of pork, the kind with the bone still in it, in the oven.  Before she puts it in, she cut off the small end of it.  My father, having never seen anyone do this before, asked why.  Mom replied that it makes the pork taste better when it's done.  He asked where she learned of this, and Mom told him it was her mother - my maternal grandmother.

A few weeks later, the family was visiting Grandma and Grandpa on Mom's side and my father asked her about this method of cooking pork.  She confirmed it, stating that she in turn learned it from her mother.

That summer, we drove into Canada, far into Quebec and well north of the cities near the US border, to visit my great-grandmother at Lac Claire.  (I tried finding this place on a map, but it's nearly impossible - many small Quebecois lakes share this name, at least according to Google Maps. This is probably because it translates from French to mean "clear lake.")  When Dad finishes telling Great-Grandma the story, she starts laughing and laughing.  When she finally caught her breath, she explained that the reason why she cut off the small end of the pork when she was roasting one was that her oven was too small and the entire thing wouldn't fit!

It makes you wonder how many great traditions have such trivial and misinterpreted origins...
Card Illusionist, NYC Area — Playing Card Design & Development Consultant
Services for Hire

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. — Mark Twain
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 09:33:39 AM »
 

TheBadJoker

  • 52 Plus Joker Member
  • True Member
  • *
  • 68
    Posts
  • Reputation: 5
I think the Omega watch is contemporary.
 

Re: Playing Card Ephemera
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 11:44:39 AM »
 

Don Boyer

  • Vice President/Director of Digital Media, 52 Plus Joker
  • Administrator
  • Forum Sentinel
  • *
  • 17,912
    Posts
  • Reputation: 406
  • Pick a card, any card...no, not THAT card!

  • Facebook:
I think the Omega watch is contemporary.

I poked around at the Omega website.  At present, they offer exactly one pocket watch - and it's a model that's made out of unassembled movement kits that were manufactured in 1932 and only recently rediscovered hidden in storage.  Nice one, too - has a 30-minute chronograph feature with split-time feature.  Completely mechanical wind-up mechanism.
Card Illusionist, NYC Area — Playing Card Design & Development Consultant
Services for Hire

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. — Mark Twain