“Royal Illuminated Playing Cards” Designed by Owen Jones. Del La Rue 1851.
This pack was one of a set of four made to honour the royal family at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Standard Owen Jones designed cards were expensive enough for most people at the time, Owen Jones designed cards for the royal family were completely out of reach for all but the mega rich. The set was advertised in the 1851 Illustrated London News at 'Two Guineas the Set of four patterns or singly at 10s 6d the pack” a staggering amount of money in 1851. Queen Victoria's design depicts roses and hawthorn surrounding the letter V and this deck, for Prince Albert, consists of prickly holly, ivy and oak. The two other packs were different floral arrangements, again surrounding initials, the Prince of Wales shows daisies and fuchsias the fourth pack was for the Princess Royal. Unfortunately, one card is missing from this set, the 7 spades, so 51 of 52 but they are in stunning condition, never been used. The guru of playing card collecting Sylvia Mann, used to say “A damaged or incomplete set of cards is a mint set of cards if it is the only one in the world” I don’t claim this is the only set of these in the world but it is extremely scarce, and certainly so in this condition. Postage incl for UK only