Nintendo "Toyopet Crown" Playing Cards, Limited Edition (3500 Decks), Akira Uno Designs, c.1967

Mint, sealed deck of wonderful cards, made c.1967 for Toyota to celebrate its Toyopet Crown model, featuring the superb original designs of Akira Uno. The World Web Playing Card Museum notes that there were only 3500 decks made, and I have repeated that assertion here; however, there is nothing in the deck to indicate it. The first two photos below show the deck here for sale. The pictures of the faces are from a deck previously sold in this shop. Please note that the deck here for sale does not have a box.

Wikipedia has a stub article on the artist:

"Aquirax Uno, also known as Akira Uno (born March 13, 1934) is a Japanese graphic artist, illustrator and painter. His work is characterized by fantastic visuals, capricious and sensuous line flow, flamboyant (and occasionally grotesque) eroticism, and frequent use of collage and bright colors. Uno was prominently involved with the Japanese underground art of the 1960s–1970s, and is particularly notable for his collaborations with Shuji Terayama and his experimental theater Tenjo Sajiki."

While this may be an accurate description of most of Uno's work, it does not seem to me that the designs of this deck are particularly flamboyant or that they have much in common with "underground art." The lines are a little bit reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley, the late 19th century English illustrator, without the erotic content. Then again, the deck was made for a major Japanese corporation that caters to the public, and it is not surprising that Uno may have exercised uncharacteristic restraint. In any event, whether typical of his work or not, the designs are exceptional.

The deck has 52 cards, plus 3 Jokers. The suits are red and blue, rather than black, and the backs have the Toyopet Crown emblem against a black background. The cards are slightly small bridge size, measuring 87mm x 57mm. There is no box.

The cards are mint and sealed. Again, there is no box.

Reference: Fournier, Playing Cards, Japan 45

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Item ID: T00002005

$35 USD

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Two For His Heels

Two For His Heels, Fredericksburg, VA   

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