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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial review: MAKERS, Sons of Liberty & Vintage Plaids (Elegant decks from Art of Play) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ART OF PLAY: Elegant Decks

As far as a source for creative playing cards goes, you won't really find a better place than the Art of Play website ( I've recently been scouring the internet to research some of the places you can get beautiful playing cards, and When I first discovered the Art of Play website I was blown away by the variety, creativity, quality, and beauty of the decks of playing cards they have available. Their catalogue of Playing Cards is self-described as "A collection of the absolute finest playing cards in the world. Featuring hand-painted works of art, award-winning design and luxury packaging." And they're not far wrong - it contains over 130 different decks, including some stunningly creative and artistic designs. Owned and managed by magicians and cardists Dan & Dave Buck, Art of Play carries some of the most beautiful decks of playing cards I've ever seen. In this review, I will show you some of what I consider to be their elegant decks that I own myself and have first-hand experience with, and I will give you a pictorial overview of them.



The MAKERS deck is hard to describe. Words that come to mind are elegance, class, and luxury.

The tuck box is extremely stylish, with intricate detail that is highlighted with embossed gold foil. Phrases like "Special Reserve", "Revered Quality for All Beholders", "Made True", "Crafted for the Order of the Makers by the Buck Brothers & Company", and "Tribute to the Many Worldly Doers" are carefully arranged in small print. It's hard to imagine a tuck box that looks more classy or impressive from the outside.


Designed by the studio of Chad Michael and produced in-house by Dan and Dave Industries after two years of design, this is a deck they consider to be the most intricate and luxurious in the Dan & Dave catalogue.

This is especially true of the limited edition Collectors Box Set (which I don't have!), which comes with classy oak case that can be locked with a vintage key and has a green leather interior lining - check out some stunning pictures here.


The cards themselves have a intricate back design, while the number cards have a style that matches the rest of the deck.


The court cards have custom illustrations intended to represent the foundational "makers" civilization has been built on - hence the name of the deck.


[size=16]Sons of Liberty deck[/size]

The Sons of Liberty deck is another in-house production from Dan & Dave, and it's definitely a very American deck, evident already from all the stars on the tuck box flap, and the proud "Made in America" on the box cover.

In the words of Dan & Dave: "The tuck box is among the most exquisite we’ve ever produced, featuring sculptural embossing in both bronze and pewter foil." It is almost the equal of the MAKERS tuck box, and I can see that some people would even rate it higher. There are embossed images and text in silver foil, which say things like "Obedience to God" and "Rebellion to Tyrants".


This deck commemorates the patriots who were active as revolutionaries during the time of British rule, who as the Sons of Liberty "operated in the shadows, leaving secret signals, passing hidden messages, and meeting in the dead of night."


The cards feature images and themes related to this material - there are references to the masons on the card backs, and the Ace of Spades is a Liberty Tree.


The court cards feature some of the patriots, and use an 18th century style etching. Like another deck featured below, this was designed by Jeff Trish.

The Sons of Liberty deck is definitely one that will appeal to history fans, American patriots, or anyone who enjoys an exquisitely made deck where every last detail has been meticulously thought out and made as best as it can possibly be. Check out more stunning images of this deck over at Dan & Dave.



The Vintage Plaids deck (Arizona Red) is a popular choice among the Dan & Dave produced line-up, and is one of their more readily affordable decks.

But that doesn't mean it skimps on quality or style. The side of the tuck box already gives us an indication of the quality, where it says "Fine Playing Cards for Gentlemen".


It's a deck that pays homage to the great outdoors, and Dan & Dave were inspired by their childhood camping trips in making it. This original Vintage Plaids sold out due to demand, and this deck features a new updated design.


The changes include a new Ace of Spades and a new type-face. But it's especially the strong plaid on the card-backs that is this deck's distinctive feature.


I especially love the look of the court cards you see here. The use of a forest green instead of black really gives this deck a more "outdoorsy" feel.


Intended to be a "rugged deck", yet remaining elegant and classy, that's exactly the sense that I have of this deck! See more pictures of this deck here.



If you're in the market for something creative, unique, unusual, memorable, and hard to find or duplicate, it's hard to think of a better place to look than Whether you're looking for that one-of-a-kind high end deck for your own enjoyment, or a gift for another gamer, Art of Play has something that will suit, and the decks you see here are fine examples.

To see more, head here:

MAKERS deck:
Sons of Liberty deck:
Vintage Plaids deck:


BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame

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"Instead of attempting to learn a great number of tricks, concentrate upon a few good tricks and master them so that their technique and their presentation is so excellent that those who see them will want to see them again." -Expert Card Technique
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