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Brown & Bigelow “Sheba” Playing Cards, Omega Concepts Ltd. Publisher, Brent Bailer Designs, c.1972
Excellent deck of the stunning "Sheba" cards, made by Brown & Bigelow and published by Omega Concepts, Ltd., c.1972. The cards would be made by Hoyle in a later limited edition c.1996, but this is the original 1972 edition. The insert card and extra Joker describes the deck as a "unique concept in the thousand year history of playing cards" and states that the cards "represent the greatness and the glory that are the legacy of African peoples." The designs of the court cards and primary Joker are by Brent Bailer, an African-American artist, active in advertising. The Kings depict Askia the Great, Emperor of Songhay c.1442-1539 A.D.; the Queens portray Makeda, Queen of Ethiopia and Sheba c.1,000-950 B.C. (the "Queen of Sheba"); and the Jacks depict Hannibal, the Immortal Carthaginian General c.247 B.C.-183 B.C. The deck has 52 cards, plus a Joker, plus an Extra Joker and insert card that describes the cards. The cards are wide, measuring 89mm x 63mm, and come in the original box.
The cards are in excellent condition, "as new" or very nearly so. However, the box has a large handwritten notation in black ink that reads: “P. Morris Parliament Promotion Aug. 1973.” The box also has a slight horizontal stain beneath the stamp on the back.
There is another deck of these cards for sale in this shop, with a box that does not include the handwritten notation (T00002783).
References: Dawson, The Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, p.308, N44; Fournier, Playing Cards, North America 230.
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