A nice example of a very rare cartographic playing card. Here we offer an example of the FIRST STATE of the county of Norfolk represented by the five of hearts. This is identified by the lack of the names of neighbouring counties. It was first advertised in the ‘Term Catalogues’ for Easter Term 1676 advertised ‘The 52 Countries [sic] of England and Wales, described in a Pack of Cards … Sold by Robert Morden at the Atlas in Cornhill, Will. Berry at the Globe in the Strand, Robert Green in Budge Row, and George Minikin at the King’s Head in S. Martin’s.’ The second state was advertised in the ‘Term Catalogues’ for October of the same year, 1676.
Following the Restoration of King Charles II there was much renewed interest in the pleasures of life in England after the puritan values of the Cromwell era. Amongst these was a keen desire for gaming, including the use of packs of cards. Geographical cards had been issued before this date but they usually constituted descriptive text with or without a small illustration of some kind; for example, those of H. Winstanley in 1665. The mid-1670s saw a rush of cards bearing maps. Arber (1903-06) I. 263; Frostick (2011) no. 19.3; Skelton (1970) no. 94; Mann & Kingsley ‘Playing Cards’, in Map Collectors’ Circle no. 87 p. 26.