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Parlour (2019)

Parlour (2019)



The collaboration with The Gentleman Wake for this deck commenced right after the launch of The House of the Rising Spade. He is a talented videographer with a keen eye for detail, a dedication to quality, and, most importantly, a shared appreciation for similar aesthetics. Furthermore, he is an avid playing card enthusiast and collector. We embarked on this project to create the debut deck named Parlour.

Our project was guided by a few key concepts and ideas. The primary concept was to celebrate his work by incorporating objects and items from his studio, as well as his personal passions and family into the deck’s design. His studio resembled a meticulously decorated movie set, exuding an elegant antique ambiance. The studio’s wallpaper, frequently featured as a backdrop in his videos, played a pivotal role in our design. He compiled a mood board containing various elements, including pieces of furniture, busts, unique items, Shakespeare the British short-hair cat, a Rhinoceros Beetle, a Nixie clock, a gramophone, and more, to inspire the creation of the Parlour Playing Cards.

Given that he filmed card deck reviews in his studio, it was only fitting to name the deck “Parlour,” in reference to the room where people used to gather and engage in conversation before the age of modern distractions and technology.

We agreed on a semi-standard deck of cards, akin to Ravn Playing Cards, where the faces featured standard court cards for ease of reading and playability. Throughout the process, I kept him informed, sharing even the most rudimentary progress. As a fellow creative, he understood that sketches represent rough, unrefined versions that provide insight into the design’s direction. Some graphical elements were incorporated, while others were discarded. Colors remained temporary; the focus was on achieving equilibrium, contrast, harmony, and presenting the right amount of details in the correct manner.

The exciting part of this project unfolded when it came time to craft the two jokers. Within the mood board, there was a striking bust portraying a gentleman with a fox’s head, and there was Shakespeare the cat. Pairing these two characters felt like a natural fit, drawing inspiration from the iconic cat and fox duo in Pinocchio.


Parlour Playing Cards made its debut on Kickstarter in April 2019, introducing two classic variants in red and blue. 
Our approach to designing the tuckbox mirrored the philosophy applied to the extra card – an emulation of 1800s-era advertisements characterized by meticulously handcrafted text, various typographic fonts, ornate scrolls, and the presentation of ample information in an elegant manner.

Our plan was to utilize gold foil exclusively, which meant we had to work within the constraints of foil’s minimum line thickness.

For the production of the tuckboxes, we decided to collaborate with Oath Playing Cards (a.k.a. Lotrek), largely based on my positive experience with The House of the Rising Spade. 

From the project’s inception, we planned to offer three variants and unlock the third one during the campaign’s progression as either a stretch goal or a later release. The third deck in the series featured an exquisite black and gold design with gold cold foil application on the back of the cards.

When the Kickstarter campaign exceeded its funding goal by reaching 600%, we introduced a fourth deck in an even more limited edition: Parlour Dynastinæ. This wasn’t initially part of the plan; rather, it was conceived during a quick brainstorming session. For this truly distinctive variant, we decided to completely redesign the tuckbox and to adorn the cards with luxurious golden gilded edges. Unlike the other decks, Parlour Dynastinæ doesn’t feature a seal with a progressive number. Instead, we opted to prominently display the total number of decks directly on the tuckbox design, and we chose a quantity of 777 as a nod to the slot machines found in casinos.


Furthermore, we introduced a card guard, stickers, and an exclusive “Gaff Pack,” comprising 14 gaff cards tailored for popular and specialized card tricks. Among these cards were common gaff cards, including duplicates and double-backers, alongside unique alterations that enhanced the performer’s ability to execute intricate and captivating card tricks. To complement the toolkit for performing magical feats, we provided a mini-deck in the red version.

However, we couldn’t conclude the campaign without a distinctive design for the custom brick box, configured as 4+4+4, with numbered and signed sleeve printed with letterpress.

 Funded with Kickstarter in 2019
Collaboration with The Gentleman Wake
A total 15,892 decks were produced
Cards printed by Cartamundi, Belgium
Boxes printed by Oath Playing Cards, Greece


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