CAVALIER CARDS AGAINST THE COMMONWEALTH

Explanatory Notes of a Pack of Cavalier Playing Cards, temp. Charles II., [cover title: illustrated in Facsimile] forming a complete political Satire of the Commonwealth.

Edinburgh, E. & G. Goldsmid, 1886.

8vo, pp. iv, [5]–23, [1, blank], with 13 plates (each depicting 4 cards); light stain to title verso, else a very good copy; in original pebble-grained cloth, lettered in gilt; a little worn at extremities.

£85

Approximately:
US $110€101

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Explanatory Notes of a Pack of Cavalier Playing Cards, temp. Charles II., [cover title: illustrated in Facsimile] forming a complete political Satire of the Commonwealth.

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First edition of this explanation and reproduction of a deck of anti-Cromwellian satirical playing cards, designed by Francis Barlow, comprising a playful catalogue of events relating to Oliver Cromwell’s Rump Parliament of 1648–1653.

Published in Edinburgh by the Aungervyle and Clarendon Societies, this work reproduces a 1679 deck entitled ‘The Knavery of the Rump’, the originals of which are in British Museum. Only three complete sets of the original cards are known to have survived; Lord Nelson’s pack, reproduced here, lacked the ace and three of hearts and the figures of Cromwell and Fairfax are therefore substitutes. On the ten of clubs, Cromwell, whose regime frowned upon the frivolous pastime of cards, prays while Charles ‘is murthered by his order’.

See Catalogue of the collection of playing cards bequeathed to the British Museum by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, p. 164 (no. 61).

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