Learn About the Historic Deck

Our search for the story behind this mysterious deck.

Learn About the Historic Deck

When we first planned to have members vote on which historic deck should go to reprint, we photographed a few old back designs at random from our own collection. Once you voted on Deck #3, we got to work tracking down the story of this deck back. And we came up short.

No one knew where it came from; the printing plate may have fallen from the sky and into the glass protective case, for all we know. Consulting expert friends—particularly Lee Asher and the crew at 52 Plus Joker—didn’t work either; everyone was stumped as we were.

The closest we got was an estimate from card collector and playing card historian Joe Pierson. Joe says that based on the Anglo-Japanese style of the card back, he’d date the card from around the Aesthetic Movement in the 1880s. Proponents of the Aesthetic Movement believed that art for art’s sake was more important than art that served a purpose (like a statement on morality, politics, etc). The Anglo-Japanese style rose to prominence in the last half of the 19th century, when a worldwide appreciation grew for Japanese art and decorative arts.

Whatever its history, we plan on bringing this deck back to life in 2014.

If anyone has more information about this deck, shoot us an email at officialbicyclecards@gmail.com.

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  • At the Propelled Pasteboards throwing card blog, we were able to uncover a great deal more information about this card design. The post is available at:


    • The Bicycle Team
      June 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Hello Gary, Your link’s article is very interesting. However we would like to make one correction, this particular card design back was reproduced in 2014 as promised. Nightshade was a successful release under the limited run, Club 808 Edition called Bicycle® NIGHTSHADE, which featured a rich gold and purple version of the original design. Thanks for your comment and link, The Bicycle Team

  • Thats very interesting! I think we should learn about every thing that we meet in our life. It is very useful and interesting. I think history is the main subject that children should study. History is the key of love and respect to your home country. When i was studying in university at the last year i chose this subject. My friends told that history dissertation <a href="https://pro-papers.com/history-writing-service">https://pro-papers.com/history-writing-service</a&gt; won’t be useful in future because i won’t be a teacher or smth like that. But when i’d defenced it i was very pleased.

  • Any history, information and value on complete set of Bicycle Playing Cards No. 86 Four Board Four Packs For Duplicate Bridge, Pat May 12,1925 USPC Co.? Any and all information would be appreciated as I have a set in excellent condition and am an avid Duplicate Bridge Player! Many thanks in advance.

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