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Beautiful, playable, hand-drawn art printed by USPCC and inspired by one of the earliest known decks, which came from Cairo, Egypt!
Beautiful, playable, hand-drawn art printed by USPCC and inspired by one of the earliest known decks, which came from Cairo, Egypt!
378 backers pledged $9,481 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

"Sultana" Playing Cards, inspired by ancient deck! USPCC project video thumbnail
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$9,481

378

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4/17: GAME for the deck detailed in THIS UPDATE!

  • Sultana is the first in a trilogy that will follow the evolution of playing cards from their Moorish roots to their modern manifestations!

The deck art is 100% hand-drawn in pencil before digitally colored!  The cards are printed on Bicycle® stock with an air-cushion finish.

***See bottom of page for important information on the $25 reward level.

The full sheet is an uncut deck of cards straight from the USPCC factory!  Great as a wall decoration!
The full sheet is an uncut deck of cards straight from the USPCC factory! Great as a wall decoration!
  • NEW: Add $11 per additional deck!

    NEW: Add $4 for a set of 4 buttons!

The Art

Deco Playing Cards’ debut deck is inspired by one of the oldest-known deck of 52 playing cards from Mamluk Egypt, discovered in a museum in Istanbul.  The artist of our deck is Dave Boyd, and the designer of our custom tuck box is Katy Orr.

Vegetation is an important feature in this early deck, so we have assigned a plant important to the culture and economy of Islamic empires, visible in the backgrounds and in the hands of the Queens: the Lotus for the Hearts, the Blue Egyptian Water Lily for Diamonds, the Poppy for Clubs, and the Cumin Flower for Spades. 

Additionally, the original deck had different suits, which we have assigned to the Kings: the Spades shows the King of Swords, the Clubs shows the King of Polo Sticks, the Diamonds shows the King of Coins, and the Hearts shows the King of Cups.

The King of Hearts' pose is modeled after Socrates in Jacques-Louis David's "Death of Socrates"
The King of Hearts' pose is modeled after Socrates in Jacques-Louis David's "Death of Socrates"
We won't call you out for staring at our beautiful backside! ;)
We won't call you out for staring at our beautiful backside! ;)
Close-up of our back!
Close-up of our back!

Grab an absolutely free iPhone or iPad background of our card backs HERE!

Our pip layout!
Our pip layout!

Jokers designed by backer Brian Kloetzel!

A message from Brian Kloetzel (well worth the read!):

"When conceptualizing the jokers, I wanted to stay true to the themes DECO introduced with this deck, and to try and fit in with Dave's fantastic work on the other cards. The very idea of the deck suggested to me the imperial might of the classical Middle East, and the transmission of culture and learning through the exercise of the same; indeed, without the back and forth between East and West, we'd all of us have lost countless enjoyable hours playing poker, spades, etc. So what drove the Mamluk or Ottoman courts that brought playing cards into Europe and beyond?

Just like today, it is often the power behind the throne that matters, and while Sultans and Sultanas and powerful generals often held sway, more often than not it was the key advisors and the women of the harem that drove the decisions and set policy. It seemed only natural then that the jokers, the great wild cards of the deck that can change a hand in an instant, should be represented by these secret players, and thus the harem girl and the emir/vizier cards that Dave has so wonderfully created. I also wanted to include a feminine joker, as jokers have traditionally been male figures, and bringing these ancient cards into the 21st century should allow all of us to get our chance to play."

The Rewards

The T-SHIRT!
The T-SHIRT!
Mock-up of full sheet!  The question marks are jokers; their design is up to our backers!
Mock-up of full sheet! The question marks are jokers; their design is up to our backers!
The print!  Every element of the deck's design was first hand-drawn in pencil.  Enjoy our artist's work in this high-resolution 11x17 print!
The print! Every element of the deck's design was first hand-drawn in pencil. Enjoy our artist's work in this high-resolution 11x17 print!

***Important Disclaimer about Subscriptions: While we will do everything in our power to get the rest of the card trilogy printed, we at Deco Playing Cards can offer no guarantee that these decks will be produced. The funds from the subscription level will go directly towards financing our next projects, i.e. paying artists. Since these artists will need to be paid for their time whether the project is successful or not, there will be no refunds for the subscription level if the next cards are not produced. Additionally, at $25, you would be receiving the decks for a lower price than they will be otherwise available. Please pledge with this in mind.

Stretch Goals!

  • $10,000: The cards will have a magic finish!
  • $12,000: The design will include metallic inks!

Video music: Turku

Risks and challenges

We have already contacted the United States Playing Cards Company and received a quote. At this point, the remaining challenges include meeting our goal with outreach to ensure that our backers receive their pledge rewards and eventually negotiating shipping. Issues latter could result in delays, as could misprinting at the USPCC, but these are unlikely scenarios and would not prevent our project from succeeding nor its fruits from reaching your doorstep.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You will receive a prompt, personalized, and ultra-sincere thank you message from the owner of Deco Playing Cards!

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    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    Get a set of 4 buttons! US shipping included!

    Pledge at this level to receive 3/4" round buttons featuring our four medallions featured on each suit background!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    EARLIEST BIRDS -- One (1) Sultana deck! US shipping included!

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    Reward no longer available 52 backers
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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    10 DAYS SPECIAL: 10 for $10! US shipping included!

    International shipping for just $8! Best deal for international backers yet!!!

    We are selling 10 more decks at the $10 level! This cannot be combined with any other pledge level. Additional decks are still $11.

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    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    YOU STILL GET THE WORM -- One (1) Sultana deck! US shipping included!

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    Reward no longer available 52 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    ONE (1) DECK of Sultana playing cards! US shipping included!

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    Pledge $23 or more About $23

    TWO (2) DECKS of Sultana playing cards! US shipping included!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SUBSCRIPTION: Receive each deck in the trilogy as it's printed! Receive ONE (1) deck of Sultana cards and the future two decks in the future!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    ONE (1) DECK of Sultana playing cards + ONE (1) T-SHIRT! US shipping included!

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    THREE (3) DECKS of Sultana playing cards! US shipping included!

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    20 backers
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    TWO (2) DECKS of Sultana playing cards + ONE (1) T-SHIRT! US shipping included!

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FIVE (5) DECKS of Sultana playing cards! US shipping included!

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    14 backers
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    TWO (2) DECKS + ONE (1) Signed Collector's Sheet! US shipping included!

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    2 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    A brick of TEN (10) Sultana playing cards! US shipping included!

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    REAL BRICK of TWELVE (12) Sultana playing cards! By popular demand!

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    4 backers
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A brick of TEN (10) Sultana playing cards + ONE (1) Signed Collector's Sheet + ONE (1) T-SHIRT! US shipping included!

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    1 backer
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A brick of TEN (10) Sultana playing cards + ONE (1) Signed Collector's Sheet + ONE (1) T-SHIRT! US shipping included!

    PLUS, you and the artist design the Joker cards together!

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Funding period

- (40 days)