Morden Playing Cards 1676
- First Published: 1676
- Size: 3.9" x 2.5"
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This most interesting Pack of Cards, of which only one Pack complete with the two Preliminary Cards is thought to exist, forms a small Atlas of England and Wales. As such, it is the first Atlas to indicate roads.
The set is entered in the Term Catalogue for Easter 1676 as: “The 52 Countries (sic) of England and Wales, described in a Pack of Cards … Sold by Robert Morden at the Atlas in Cornhill, Will. Berry at the Globe in the Strand, Robert Green in Budge Row, and George Minikin at the King’s Head in S. Martin’s.”
The selection of the Counties for the Suits is described in the Preliminary Card, headed “The Explanation of These Cards”. The King depicted on the cards is Charles II and the Queen, his wife, Catherine of Braganza. The main part of the cards was printed from engraved copper plates, with the suit marks being applied later by stencil. The cards were clearly designed to give instruction to the young, rather than for serious play.
The kindness of Mr. David Kingsley in permitting his pack of cards to be reproduced is acknowledged with grateful thanks.