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G.W. Clark “Columbian Souvenir” Playing Cards, c.1893
Complete set of one of several decks made c.1893 for the Columbia Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, a world’s fair to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the New World. Each card has an illustration of one of the buildings from the fair inside a center circle. There is a miniature standard card of the same value as an insert in two corners of each card, and the value of the card in big letters at each end of each card. The Joker has two seals from the Exposition and the title of the deck, and the backs show Christopher Columbus arriving in the New World.
A Wikipedia article includes this description of the grandeur and success of the fair:
“The exposition covered more than 600 acres (2.4 km2), featuring nearly 200 new (but purposely temporary) buildings of predominantly neoclassical architecture, canals and lagoons, and people and cultures from 46 countries. More than 27 million people attended the exposition during its six-month run. Its scale and grandeur far exceeded the other world's fairs, and it became a symbol of the emerging American Exceptionalism, much in the same way that the Great Exhibition became a symbol of the Victorian era United Kingdom.”
The deck has 52 suited cards, plus the Joker noted. The cards are wide, measuring 89mm x 63mm; there is no box.
The cards are in very good used condition. They have edge wear and light soiling, but are otherwise without issues.
Reference: Dawson, The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, p.247, SX6; Fournier, Playing Cards, North America 60
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