Union Playing Cards. American Card Company.
Union Playing Cards.
Union Playing Cards.
Union Playing Cards.
Union Playing Cards.
Union Playing Cards.

Union Playing Cards.

New York: Benjamin Hitchcock, 1862. Original printed case (9.5 x 7 x 2 cm), 52 playing cards. Tax stamp on case dated 1863.

A fine, complete deck of Civil War playing cards, in its original case.

Introduced by the American Card Company in 1862, this deck of cards capitalized on the patriotic sentiment of the first years of the Civil War. The suits consist of Eagles, Shields, Stars and Flags, with the Goddess of Liberty taking the place of the Queen; the Colonel representing the King; and the Major taking the place of the Jack. The border on the front of the case reads: “National Emblems!! Something New in the Card World! Time for a Change! Foreign Emblems used Long Enough In the U. S. Nationality Everything!!” The publisher asserts that “the introduction of national emblems in the place of foreign, in playing cards, will be hailed with delight by the American People.”

“[The] American Card Company was operated by Benjamin W. Hitchcock, owner of a music and publishing business at 14 Chambers St., New York. The business consisted of sheet music, books, musical instruments, printing presses, and type. The time frame that Hitchcock printed playing cards is questionable, but assumed to be between 1862 and 1864 based upon their boxes and dates found on tax stamps.” (Patterson)

REFERENCES: Patterson, Kristin. It’s A Wrap! U. S. Revenue Stamps Used on Playing Cards, 1862–1883 (2003), p. 21.

CONDITION: Good, light soiling to cards; case worn with minor losses and partial separation along one corner seam, old piece of clear tape on upper portion of box, but overall structurally intact.

Item #5088

Price: $1,750.00

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