Unexpected Places to find Vintage Decks

For casual dabblers and experienced collectors.

Unexpected Places to find Vintage Decks

In the glorious age of technology, there are more places to find antique decks than at your local vintage shop or flea market (though those are great places!). Here are a few sites great for finding old decks, specialty decks, new decks, and everything in between.

  1. eBay: If you’re already reading this article, chances are, you’ve searched eBay for vintage cards before—but it’s definitely worth a mention. Try adding keywords to your playing card search such as “antique,” “vintage,” “collectible,” “rare,” “limited edition,” “first edition,” “second edition,” and so on.
  2. Etsy: While Etsy.com is the internet home of handmade items, they’re also purveyors of all kinds of vintage goods. [www.etsy.com/browse/vintage-category] Shop owners often have plenty of vintage goods to sell, and many have vintage decks. If you search for “playing cards” in the search bar, all kinds of results pop up. Use the options on the left-hand side of the site to personalize the search (try clicking “collectibles” or “paper ephemera”) to see what’s available. Some listings may have a single card, while others are complete decks. Sometimes the decks are antiques; other times it’s a newer (but one-of-a-kind) find.
  3. Gamesetal.net: Games Et Al is a British-based website dedicated to the sale and collection of vintage and antique playing cards. Even if you aren’t a buyer, their collection is well worth browsing just to get an eyeful of the beautiful decks. It’s split into categories like “European Cards to 1900,” “English Playing Cards Illustrated 1650 to 1901,” “Boxed Games,” and many more. Click on the deck photos to the left of each description for a more detailed view.
  4. Kardwell.com: This site not only includes playing cards, but also card supplies like chips, boards, and game-specific supplies for bridge, craps, and more. In addition, they have newer decks with vintage card back designs (just try searching “vintage decks”).
  5. 52 Plus Joker: One of our favorite sites for playing card history, 52 Plus Joker gives their members access to all kinds of vintage and antique decks. Their quarterly catalogue is full of news and info about playing cards, and their mail-in auctions throughout the year are stuffed with collectible and rare decks.

Finally, the International Playing Card Society has a great list of resources for anyone interested in learning more about or buying vintage decks.

Are you a collector of vintage decks? Do you have any particular resources or tips for finding decks? Share your wisdom in our Comments section!

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  • Join 52 plus Joker and come to our annual conventions where you will find lots of decks for sale and very friendly fellow enthusiasts.

  • Antique stores have paid off very well in my continuous search for vintage decks. Estate sales have also been a good source. ~W. Priest

    July 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Barnes and noble bookstores is a good place

  • I should direct collectors to places where house clearance dealers sell their wares. Community auctions and car boot sales provide an environment where gems can be found in the bottom of a crate of "rubbish" which has come from a house clearance. So many antique decks are to be found its frightening, just be prepared to quite literally get your hands dirty! Once a deck makes it to an online site it has generally been screened and the price has soared.

  • Beautiful Playing card here. Some of those palying cards my be seen at. http://www.jmdcards.com/

  • One place that I have been able to find vintage and unusual decks is estate sales. Look for places where some one has lived there for 50-60 years, now deceased or moving into care homes.

  • Michael Gessinger
    May 18, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Your link to gamesetal.net needs to be updated…it currently links to gamestal.net.
    Thanks for all the resources on this page!!!

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