|EXCEPTIONALLY RARE COMPLETE DECK OF CIVIL WAR PERIOD PATRIOTIC PLAYING CARDS FEATURING 52 UNION GENERALS, PUBLISHED BY MORTIMER NELSON IN NEW YORK, 1863
|Frame Size (H x L):||43" x 43"|
|Flag Size (H x L):|
|52 playing cards printed in black and red, each 3 ½”h x 2 ½”w, each with a labeled portrait of a Union Army general or high ranking naval officer and the versos printed in blue with a design featuring implements of war. At the upper left corner of each card is a miniature card indicating the suit and value at upper left. The diamonds, hearts and all the court cards are overprinted in red from a separate block. Like many decks of this era, there were no jokers and no separate title card with the name of the maker. The maker’s emblem appears on the ace of spades.
Actually published during the war itself by Mortimer Nelson in New York, in 1863, it is interesting to note that some of the officers illustrated remain famous today (Grant, Meade, Sherman); some infamous (Burnside, McCLellan); while others have been largely been forgotten (Augue, Milroy). At the same time, probably due to the mid-war date, and possibly to the manner by which the names were selected, some key figures remain conspicuously absent (Sheridan, Custer, Scott). At more or less the same time, Nelson also issued a companion deck with Confederate generals. A year later he issued packs featuring humorous “love scenes” and “war scenes,” utilizing the same basic format. All appear to be extremely rare and this is the only set of Union generals that I have ever encountered.
References: Dawson & Dawson, Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, #W8 (p. 217). Not in OCLC or the Beinecke Library’s Cary Playing Cards Database (though a complete deck of the Confederate version is listed).
Mounting: The cards have been mounted using mylar corners and so are easily removable. The background is 100% cotton twill, black in color. The black fabric has been washed to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. The mount was placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The glazing is U.V. protective plexiglass.
Condition: Light soiling and toning. Faint ink annotation to some of the 10's and court cards. Box and/or wrapper not present.
|Collector Level:||Flags for the truest Patriots. My best offerings|
|Earliest Date of Origin:||1863|
|Latest Date of Origin:||1863|
|War Association:||1861-1865 Civil War|
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