The English Playing Card Society

The English Playing Card Society was founded in 1984 by Peter Way and Major R.T. Donald Welsh.

Photos from meeting at Milton Keynes

Photos from meeting at Milton Keynes

The purpose of the Society is to bring together collectors, researchers, manufacturers, museums and libraries, and all persons interested who wish to increase their knowledge of English playing cards and card games, their makers and designers. An informative, well illustrated and readable newsletter is published three times a year together with details of meetings, new publications, recent discoveries and regular updates.

Read The Constitution

Latest Update from the Secretary

Subscription rates for 2022 are the same as last year.

UK = £28 (cheque or BACS £27), Europe = £33 , Worldwide = £37.

The EPCS PayPal account is: [email protected] and my address for cheques is still the same. For those without a PayPal Account I can send a PayPal Invoice that can easily be paid using any credit card; just let me know. Also, ask me for online account details for transfers if required. Join online using our interactive form.

The next EPCS Meeting venue and date in 2022 has yet to be decided.

The Newsletter

The Society publishes a 30+ page A4 Magazine (including colour plates) which is free to members. This is dispatched three times a year and builds up into a reference source, with an index, containing information which is not readily available through any other source. Members are invited to contribute articles to the Newsletter.

Information

Articles & Resources from the EPCS

Meetings

The Society usually holds two meetings each year, a golden opportunity for exchanging and buying cards, as well as a social occasion. A talk is usually given on an interesting topic relating to playing cards, and refreshments are available.

See photographs of the 25th Anniversary AGM held in Pratts Hotel, Bath, 2009. Click here to see photo of the meeting at Milton Keynes… photo 2.

The Society Motif & Logo

The Society Motif (top left) is from "The History of Playing Cards" by Rev. E.S. Taylor (1865). On page 238 there is a picture of the dog and the devil entitled 'Deuce and Tray'. An Ace of Spades symbol has been added to complete a representation of the first three cards in a standard pack: ace, deuce and three. The Ace and Deuce need no explanation. The dog 'Tray' is phonetically similar to 'tres' or 'three'.

Three of Clubs: “Old Dog Tray”. There is a story about it that Lord Dunblane played cards with the Prince of Orange on his voyage to England in 1688. At the end of the game the Prince handed the cards to Lord Dunblane with his signature on the Three of Clubs.

The E.P.C.S. Logo

The E.P.C.S. Logo is based on the 'Garter' Ace of Spades and incorporates the motif in the centre.

E.P.C.S. Committee Members

Chairman:

John Sings

Hon. Secretary:

Barney Townshend
Little Paddock
Charlton Adam
Somerton
Somerset TA11 7BG
U.K.

  • Tel: +44 (0)7974 837356
[email protected] Barney Townshend Hon. Secretary

Hon. Treasurer:

As above

[email protected]

Newsletter Editor:

Julian Shilton

[email protected]

Committee Member:

Ann Smith

[email protected]

Committee Member:

Don Woolnough

Webmaster:

Adam Wintle

[email protected] Adam Wintle

Articles & Resources from the EPCS

Articles & Resources from the EPCS

Social Media

We now have Facebook and Twitter pages. We invite you to visit our Social Media pages.

Follow our social media for updates, and perhaps Like or share our pages too. We would like to spread knowledge of The English Playing Card Society as widely as we can.

The 25th Anniversary Deck “Metastasis”

The EPCS has published a book of the 25th Anniversary Deck "Metastasis". Click on the image of the book (below), and browse through the book to see every page and every card. Each card is near A5 size, one to each page. You will also find details of purchase options. A few decks/packs of these limited cards are still available. Contact [email protected] if you are interested.


Articles

Collecting English Playing Cards & Games

Collecting English Playing Cards & Games

The History of English Playing Cards dates probably from the mid 15th century, the first documentary evidence of their existence in this country occurring in an Act of Parliament which prohibited the import of foreign cards.

Fortune-Telling Cards

Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.

Comic Question & Answer cards

Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.

Karl Gerich No.22: “Rouennais”

Karl Gerich’s hand-made design No.22: “Rouennais”, Victoria P.C.C, Bath (UK), 1990.

Thomas Walters Transformation

Hand-drawn transformation pack dated 1874 with the name Thomas Walters on the ace of spades.

Hand-Painted Transformation, c.1800-20

An early 19th century set of hand-painted transformation playing cards depicting contemporary scenes from Georgian society

Transformation c.1880

Transformation playing cards hand-drawn on a pack manufactured by Hunt’s Playing Card Manufacturing Co Ltd c.1880

Karl Gerich no.23: “Beautiful Bath”

Beautiful Bath is a hand-made pack by Karl Gerich which was published in 1996.

Imperial Royal Pack

Imperial Royal Playing Cards published by S. & J. Fuller, 34 Rathbone Place, London, 1828. The court cards show bust portraits of historical figures of England, Spain, Turkey and France.

International Playing Cards

Designed by Reuben Townroe (1835‑1911), the artist who designed the ornamented terra cotta work on the exterior of the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Crowquill Transformation

Transformation playing cards designed by the illustrator, comic artist and stage designer ‘Alfred Crowquill’ (Alfred Henry Forrester, 1804-72), printed by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.