Olde English Playing Cards: Suffolk Tudor Pack


The complete Suffolk/ Tudor court cards.








In pursuit of the ancestry of the suicide king, I came across some cards found in Hinderclay, in Suffolk, England. They are the same courts as the ones imported from Rouen, and their proportions and garb suggest much earlier in the sixteenth century. They are painted in red, blue, black, pink, and yellow, and are about 5cm x 9cm.
Suffolk is a lovely countryside with no shortage of historic charm. My first husband of fifteen years is from Leiston, Suffolk, and I miss the county and all the lovely people there who made me feel so welcome. When I discovered cards were found mere miles away, compulsion led me to produce a pack.
I have found many fragmentary Franco-Anglian packs from the sixteenth century, with a wide range of colors and artist’s personal styles. With few or sometimes single surviving specimens, I have a number of different unique hands to inspire, while forcing me to blend them together into a single style.  This is the kind of project I had hoped to find, with lots of margin for my own

For any remaining details that cannot be filled otherwise, I can reference a pack produced in Rouen by Pierre Marechal, in about 1567. This pack has been available, as it can be found lithographed in Henry d’Allemagne’s two volume tome published in 1906, as well as later authors. It is this availability that makes me want to avoid it, both for the interests of research, as well as respect for other artists.

When deciding on a color palette, I had a friend suggest green. One of the specimens I used as reference has what seems a lovely shade of teal. Age can distort these sometimes, and it was rather close to the black stencil paint on the same card, so I lightened it up a bit.

Observation: The measurements of this pack make are not only petite, but they are a rather convenient size. this may provide for more printing options.

Update: I have found a printer whom I feel understands my needs, so I will be able to offer a more economical alternative.

my favorite references for these cards are here:





I used these for color palette







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