3 early photographic Pinup decks
from St. Louis, MO.
As you can see, the boxes show great similarity. The lettering
on the top flap "playing cards" is exactly the same. On the bottom it
says "plastic coated" and here too the lettering is the same. The
"claim" on the inside uses the exact same phrases in all 3 boxes.
The "WP" in the coat of arms on the front of box 1 doesn't ring a bell here. Maybe you can help out? It returns on the sides of box 2.
The design on the 2nd and 3rd box are the same, only the title has been altered. It's "NEW!" and "EXOTIC!" now: an addition that's still seen a lot in advertising nowadays. Usually that doesn't bring any good and that's also true in this case. When it says....."A Surprise awaits you within", the statement is undeniably true. It's just an unpleasant one for those who had already acquired the first two decks in those days.
Judging the decks by pictures, lay-out and titles, we've come to the conclusion that this should be the correct chronological sequence:
|DECK 1||DECK 2||DECK 3|
text on the sides of the boxes indicate a change of name by the publisher.
It was not until we started an xpo about Pinup & Erotica decks, that we noticed that the text that was inside the flaps of the above decks, was also in a deck that was published a few years before, in 1955. The exact same statement covered the inside flap of a drawn pin-up deck, that was illustrated by Gil Elvgren. This artist was contracted by Brown & Bigelow, a major US publisher from St. Paul, Minnesota. This printer/publisher also had a playing card division and it's our strong belief that the Elvgren deck was printed by Brown & Bigelow too. And that would mean that all the decks that were published from St. Louis, Missouri (MO) have been printed by Brown & Bigelow.
The text on the inside of the top-flap is exactly the same as on the inside flap of the original American Elvgren deck and on the decks above.
BACK TO TEXT
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