Royal Illuminated Playing Cards. 1851
Royal Illuminated Playing Cards by De La Rue. 1851. With back designs by Owen Jones. This pack was one of four in a set all designed by Jones and first exhibited at the "Great Exhibition" in 1851 to honour the royal family. Queen Victoria's design depicts roses and hawthorn surrounding the letter V. This pack with holly, ivy and oak surrounding PA is for Prince Albert and there were two other packs, neither of which I have ever seen, one for the Prince of Wales and one for the Princess Royal. The set was advertised in the 1851 Illustrated London News at 2 guineas the set or 10 shillings and sixpence for one pack. For most people in 1851 10s & 6p was a small fortune, which may account for these packs being so thin on the round, not many were purchased and although DLR continue to make the packs for several years after the exhibition they are still rarely found. This pack is unfortunately missing one card, the 7 spades, However it is in fantastic condition, clean and crisp as you like.