Mint, sealed (cards, not box) double deck of cards, still in their wrappers, bearing the Royal Cipher of King George VI, made by De La Rue for the exclusive use of the Royal Family. The seller to me represented that these cards were a gift from King George VI to her father, Peter Brough, the celebrated ventriloquist, and assuming this is true, the cards can be dated approximately 1950 based upon the timeline of Brough’s career. The reign of King George VI ended in 1952, and presumably the cards are dated no later than the end of his reign.
I cannot prove that these decks were a gift to Brough, but tend to believe it is so. As noted, these cards were for the use of the Royal Family, and to my knowledge were never sold to the public. If these cards came into private hands, it seems very likely that they were a Royal gift.
Wikipedia has this description of Brough’s famous puppet/dummy, Archie Andrews:
“Archie Andrews was a ventriloquist's dummy used by ventriloquist Peter Brough in a radio and television show in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s. In its radio format it was called Educating Archie. The bizarre concept of delivering a ventriloquist act, a visual humour, by radio, an audio medium, never seemed to bother anyone at the time, however. Archie was invariably dressed in a broad-striped blazer, and addressed the ventriloquist as ‘Brough.’ The television scripts were written by Marty Feldman and Ronald Chesney.
“The UK radio show attracted up to 15m listeners and had a children's fan club that at one time had 250,000 members. Among future stars who appeared on the show were Tony Hancock, Max Bygraves, Harry Secombe, Benny Hill, Beryl Reid and (as a 14-year-old) Julie Andrews.”
As noted, the cards are still in the wrapper. The come in the original box (there are sample cards on the back), and the box has been damaged and taped over the years. Through the wrapper the gold gilt edges are visible, and presumably each deck has 52 cards, plus at least 1 Joker. They are bridge size, measuring 89mm x 58mm.
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