The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards

The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards is the London Livery Company that has represented makers of playing cards since its foundation in 1628.

The Worthy Clerk has recently acquired a digital image of the 1628 Charter: this is the final page featuring a picture that I am guessing is Charles I

Cards by Christopher Blanchard

The Company has an extensive collection of playing cards, which can be seen at London Metropolitan Archives

The collection began with a bequest of over six hundred packs from Henry D Phillips. His collection was of the highest quality, with many items of significant historic interest from around the world. Phillips was Master of the Company four times; his first year as Master was 1854 and his last was 1896.

The pack shown here is an English standard by Christopher Blanchard - Blanchard was himself Master of the Company in 1742. The 'Great Mogul' picture is from the wrapper. At this time, each maker used a different picture to make their cards stand out, and the Great Mogul was a designation used by the Blanchards. Later makers used the same 'great mogul' name to represent their highest quality cards.