A wonderful 4-deck set of maritime cards, made by Universal Playing Card Co. for Prince Lines, one each for “Western Prince,” “Eastern Prince,” “Southern Prince,” and “Northern Prince.” Each deck is accompanied by a bridge scoring card, that is dated March 31, 1935, and so it is clear that the cards date no earlier than 1935. The court cards appear to be what Lodge identifies as U1, which would date them to the period 1925-1940. While the date shown on a bridge card insert is usually not conclusive as to the date of the cards, in this case it seems the same or close to it.
Each deck has 52 cards, including a unique Ace of Spades with the Prince Lines logo, plus 1 standard Universal Joker, plus the bridge card noted. The decks are bridge size, measuring 88mm x 58mm, with gold gilt around. Each comes in its original card box, and the 4 card boxes are housed in 1 larger Prince Lines cardboard box.
The condition of the cards varies slightly from deck to deck. The “Western Prince” deck is in excellent condition, lightly used if at all, with almost all of the gold gilt intact. The photos showing the faces of the cards are from this deck. The “Eastern Prince” and “Southern Prince” decks are in very good, perhaps even excellent, lightly used condition, with about 25%-50% of the gold gilt intact, and with slight edge wear and light soiling. The “Northern Prince” deck is in very good lightly used condition with about 25%-50% of the gold gilt intact, and with moderate edge wear and light soiling. I have not found creases or corner issues on any of the cards in any of the decks. The 4 card boxes are in excellent condition, except for light foxing and soiling. The larger cardboard box is in poor condition, and can no longer be used to house the card boxes.
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