The Best of Reproduction Decks
Reproduction decks make wonderfully inventive gifts for card players who’d like to have every single deck under the sun or who are eager to build their deck collections. Reproduction decks capture a specific moment in time, and can be the perfect touch their game or card trick act needs.
The Highlanders deck is a historical reproduction that dates back to 1864, and it’s one of the most common decks to come up when you’re looking for something authentic and suited to the era of cowboys and poker games. The initial deck was first put together by Lewis I. Cohen, and today replica’s are made by the US Playing Card Company.
Flemish Hunting Deck (or the Cloisters Deck)
Need some real historical context to your card game? Go for the oldest card deck we know of and order a reproduction of the Flemish Hunting Deck (also called the Cloisters Deck). The closest reproduction we could find is here, though also happens to be such a limited print that it’s listed for over $100.
If you happen to be a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, you might just smirk enough at the name to go straight to buying this deck. It was first published in 1916 as a tribute to movie stars of the day, and it’s considered such a rare oddball that you can buy reproduction Moriarty decks in a few places if you dig around – perfect for anyone who happens to be a fan of movies or old-timey references. You can find a complete gallery on Immortal Ephemera here.
If you know someone who has some fine memories attached to old, strong stocked Bicycle cards stuck in the spokes of their wheels like Bill Denbrough from Stephen King’s IT, they might really appreciate this Retro Bicycle Deck that comes with a special card tin.
Bicycle: 1800 Vintage Series
Sticking with vintage reproduction Bicycle card decks, you can find the 1800 vintage series deck from Ellusionist; a distressed reproduction of card decks you’d see in the 1800s. Available from Amazon, they’re the perfect deck if you want to buy a vintage card deck that fits the right feel but doesn’t have the connotations that some wartime decks tend to.
The Hewson Replica Deck
If you want to buy someone a deck of cards that’s a true work of art at the same time, take a look at the Hewson replica decks, made to resemble card decks of the 17th Century. The coolest thing about these decks in particular is the fact that they are each produced by hand – and from there, they’re a favourite pick for many who require a truly authentic card deck, including as a film or theatre prop or for actual games coming up. You can find these and many more vintage cards on The World of Playing Cards.
Photo: The World of Playing Cards