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James MacKay's cards

This is a pack that was made by James William MacKay in 1940. The maker has written his name on the two Aces of Spades that he designed:

The cards have first been designed as pencil drawings and then painted in colour. Some of them show faces reminding of the international pattern (at least on one end), but most are caricatures.

The interesting thing is that the backs are offset printed. They show the MacDonald's "Lassie", used for advertising cigarettes in Canada from 1934 to at least the 1970s, probably to the end of the century. My guess is that James MacKay had somehow got a supply of blank cards from advertising packs, and he used those for his 'own' pack.

There are two special cards in the pack, the Ace of Hearts with Amor's arrow pierced through it, and the Eight of Hearts with one heart suit sign replaced by a club suit sign. Finally there is a Joker, but it could also be just another design for the Jack of Spades, I cannot decide.

© Peter Endebrock, 02 Feb. 2008