Wonderful and somewhat unusual deck of patience size cards made by United States Playing Card Company, c.1906, featuring a comic illustration on each card based upon the popular Buster Brown comic strip. The comic illustrations should be read together in groups, as if panels in a cartoon. That is, in each suit there are 3 groups of cartoons that tell a story about Buster and his dog Tige – 1 group consisting of cards Ace through 4; 1 consisting of cards 5 through 8; and 1 consisting of cards 9 through King. For example, the Ace through 4 of Diamonds is a group of cartoons on the subject, “Buster Brown’s new bicycle,” and they tell a story when read in order. There are 12 such stories, 8 of which have 4 cards, and 4 of which have 5 cards. The backs are a cartoon of Buster and Tige.
The deck has 52 suited cards, plus a delightful Joker. As noted, the cards are patience size, measuring 64mm x 43mm. There is no box.
The cards are in what I would describe as very good used condition. There is general wear, including edge wear, and the King of Diamonds (separately pictured) has 2 significant creases; on the bright side, they are still reasonably clean and the graphics are still excellent. All 52 cards are shown, in their story groups, to assist in evaluating condition. It is worth remembering that these cards were probably intended for use, and may have actually been used, by children, and that they are now 110 years old.
Reference: Dawson, The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, p.302, N8
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