Parlour Artifact

Parlour Artifact No. 1 – Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Playing Cards

The St. Andrews Rectory’s parlour is home to numerous artifacts that catch the eye. Some of the parlour artifacts are tiny in size. Because of this, it is only fair to give them the spotlight by introducing the most intricate ones through this blog and social media. Henceforth, we are pleased to introduce the Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Cards as the first parlour artifact. Many people in the Victorian era focused on overfilling their parlour, and so, some households might have regarded these cards as an artifact in their possession, just as we do now – the parlour artifact.

Chas Goodall & Son Card Producing Company

Chas Goodall and Son was founded by Charles Goodall in the Soho district of London, England, in 1820. By 1890, Chas Goodall and Son was a very well established company which manufactured an immense number of playing cards.

Meanwhile, in time for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, commemorative card designs became more elaborate and the colour palette diversified. Most importantly, the chromolithography method was used to achieve high quality colour prints, typical for card making of the time.

While Chas Goodall was the original founder, the company eventually became a family business when Charles’ sons got involved. However, with no successor and difficulties in running business after the First World War, Chas Goodall & Son had to merge with another company. Subsequently, Chas Goodall & Son merged with De La Rue, a similar and competitive card producing company. The merger happened in 1922, just over a century after Chas Goodall and Son emerged. If only Chas Goodall and Son knew that a deck of their cards would become a highly praised parlour artifact at a Canadian museum!

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Parlour Artefact No. 1 - Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Playing Cards

Foreground: Queens Elizabeth (face) & Victoria (reverse)

Background: Original Pull-off Box

Depicted Nobles

Edward, Prince of Wales
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
George, Prince of Wales
Edward, The Black Prince
Eleanor, Queen of Henry III
Elizabeth, Queen 1558-1603
Charlotte, Queen of George III
Philippa, Queen of Edward III
Henry III, King 1216-1272
Henry VIII, King 1509-1547
George III, King 1760-1820
Edward III, King 1327-1377
This deck of 1897 Goodall’s “Victorian” Duplex Round Cornered Playing Cards, celebrates Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
The reverse shows the portrait of H.M. Queen and reads “Victoria 1837-1897.”
Equally important are the card faces, which represent the portraits of the monarchs and nobles of the previous longest reigns in English history, dressed in the attire of the period.

Provided that the parlour is home to many Victorian era artifacts, to spot a tiny deck of cards poses a challenge, but it is not impossible, of course!

Parlour artifacts are awaiting for your visit!

Parlour Artifact Series

Follow this link to learn more about another parlour artifact – Pewter Trinket Box.

Furter Readings