Ace of Spades Across Playing Cards

I see so many Bicycle decks with gorgeous illustrations and themes for the Ace of Spades, but my collection is a bit quieter. I used to buy a few playing cards every Christmas when Mr. Somerville was still trading, but he closed his shop five years ago and I only get new playing cards occasionally.

The closest I come to a Bicycle deck is my ultra cheap Jumbo Playing Cards. They aren’t printed very well and the finish isn’t good but I bought them to use for hand drawing titles on from the system used in the Playing Card Oracles deck so I could have an non-illustrated pip deck with those titles. In that system, the Ace of Spades is Terra Incognita.


I bypassed the illustrated decks I own, and most of my historical decks have interesting Ace of Spades cards. Even the quiet ones they’ve managed to make interesting. My quietest one is the Civil War Illuminated deck which has shiny gold foil.



Lastly, I have three Patience decks or Solitaire decks as we call them in North America.


The Tudor Rose deck was published to commemorate the coronation of Elizabeth II and is still in print—lovely cards. I find it so interesting how different artists and designers handle the pips in playing cards. It’s never boring to see that flare of design.





4 thoughts on “Ace of Spades Across Playing Cards

  1. Lovely to see these. I think there is something very calming about the quieter playing cards. The space between the pips is quite beautiful. And your handrawn titles remind me of the ones my dad drew into mine.

    I also remember a set of cards you modified by adding shapes to them. They were like patchwork with diamonds. My memory is getting rusty so I’m probably not explaining that very well!

    D recently got me a Bicycle deck. It has gold on it, but essentially it’s the same as a standard playing card deck. I’ll send you a snap.

    • Yes, my collaged playing cards where the Jaunty Jacks were all men from Renaissance frescoes! The unfortunate thing with that deck is that I ran out of my regular Golden soft gel medium so used some cheap junk to glue the paper on and everything warped. I still have it but many of the cards were ruined.

      You might remember that I always wanted the Bicycle Ghost deck. It’s still in print and the price is lower than it used to be but it’s pretty standard. Yes, send me a snap of your Bicycle deck please.

      There is a new playing card deck I have my eye on called the Cryptic Cards by Immy Smith who is from the UK. Really like her work painting moths on these cards. I’m still thinking about it. You know what happens when I think to much, ha-ha.

  2. I’ve been using the Key to the Kingdom transformation deck this week on the blog; I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the illustrations paired with the rhymes. A shame no one seems to make these kind of decks much anymore.

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