Perfectly at home in your waistcoat pocket, or scattered about your gaming table, these playing cards published by Harry Margary are a real talking point. Each card in each themed deck bears a different image taken from an original period engraving. Marvellous for distracting your competitors at piquet but just make sure you keep your own eyes on the game!
Each card measures approximately 3.9" x 2.5" (9.9cm x 6.4cm) (the Transformation cards are just a fraction bigger). Cards are made of thick white card, with image and characters on one side and blank white backs. Each deck of cards is supplied in its own handy white cardboard box.
In 1660 Charles II became king of England, after years of austerity under a Commonwealth government which had condemned unproductive forms of enjoyment, such as playing at cards. But it was not until 1679 that a pictorial pack of playing cards was published which satirised the personalities and events of Commonwealth rule. This is a facsimile of that pack.
The illustrations on the cards offer a rare visual impression of the times. The satirical element involves presenting the personalities in various unfamiliar occupations and costumes, and we see not only the military warring factions, but the humbler souls of town and countryside in traditional dress, the waggoners, shepherds, corset-makers, carpenters and so on.