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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Providence Playing Cards (Destino x The 1914) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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Providence Playing Cards

Not all decks of playing cards are created equal. It's true of course that collecting and enjoying playing cards is a very subjective exercise. Collect what you like is good advice. And it's well been said that there are different types of custom decks geared to different tastes. I agree. Even so, there are some decks that are objectively good in quality, and others that are objectively bad in quality.

While we may all have our own preferences regarding card-stock and artwork, I'm sure we can all agree that a deck that is cheaply printed with crooked borders, on budget quality card stock that doesn't spread smoothly, and has artwork that looks like it was drawn by a high-school student on a moving bus, is objectively bad. On the other hand, there are also decks where it is immediately obvious that it's something of high quality - regardless of your personal tastes and preferences. One of those high quality decks is Providence Playing Cards.

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It's instantly evident from the moment that you first have the tuck box in your hand that this custom deck is at least one step above your ordinary deck of playing cards. This deck was designed by Destino and produced by the folks who call themselves "The 1914", as a tribute to the year when Harry Houdini made the only known recordings of his voice on wax cylinders, and to mark the moment when they started out as a company one hundred years later. That is a deliberately intended nod to the face that this is a brand that has its roots in magic; besides this product, they have released a number of successful magic products and effects.

The team at The 1914 describes Providence Playing Cards as their "flagship luxury deck". Perhaps that's why they opted to print it with Expert Playing Card Company, which is known for having the ability to produce unusual and more exotic tuck cases. That's certainly the case here, because it is a side-loading tuck case that sets it apart from your average deck. It positively gleams with gold foil, contrasting beautifully with the soft black background and matt finish. The series of shiny lines on the reverse of the box adds style and appeal, while the eye symbol that these lines point towards is found on most of The 1914's products, and is a timeless icon that hints at a world of mysteries and magic within. A video trailer will help give you some idea of the striking impact these design features have.

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The card backs pick up the ornate black and gold artwork from the tuck box, with a highly detailed and imaginative design that revolves around a striking and bold circular shape, containing the brand's familiar all-seeing eye. Metallic gold ink is used for the overall design of the card backs, with the exception of the center piece. This gleams with shiny gold foil, and looks especially terrific in twirls and spins, and really elevates the deck to the next level. Neat and thin white borders ensure that practicality isn't forgotten.

The court cards and pips are in the tradition of a standard deck, but there are many small touches that add elegance and sophistication, such as the decision to style the court cards with a simplified colour scheme of black, red and metallic gold, which ensures a very classy and luxurious look.

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The pips on all the cards have an additional outline in gold metallic ink around them, for further elegance. A non-standard font has been used to help add a small element of customization to strengthen the unique look of the deck, yet without making it feel too heavily customized.

The all-seeing eye is a returning feature on all the design elements, including the oversized pip used on the signature Ace of Spades, which also includes the name "Providence Playing Cards" to serve as an ongoing reminder as to what this deck is all about.

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The eye is also at the heart of the ornate `jester's hat' design used for the Jokers, one which is in black, and the other in gold. Like many EPCC decks, instead of 56 cards there are just 52 cards, two Jokers, and a single ad card.

This deck was printed in the new facility EPCC has been using in China, so it feels and handles slightly differently than USPCC card-stock, and lends itself particularly well to packet cuts. But it also feels different than the Taiwan produced card-stock most of us are familiar with from EPCC. I've personally been very pleased with the stock of LPCC/EPCC produced decks that have come out of their new facility in China, and this deck is no exception. It's fairly close to the look and feel of Bicycle's air cushion finish, and doesn't seem to clump as quickly as a lot of other Chinese decks we've seen on the market from `lesser' card manufacturers.

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The Providence deck is worthy of being a signature deck for a brand, because it looks luxurious, and has performance to match. While it has an overall look that ensures it remains very practical and functional, it will especially lend itself well when used in the hands of a magician, given the iconography and symbols on the card backs and a few other cards.

The description provided by the team at The 1914 captures this well: "inspired by the secrets of the universe, Providence represents mystery; The embodiment of both chaos and order; Infinite sequences of 52 ancient symbols that glide poetically between the hands and glisten in the light." But it's certainly practical enough to be used for almost any situation that require playing cards, and will be at home at the poker table or a classic card game. Its striking good looks will ensure that it is a luxury deck that many can own and appreciate, regardless of the setting.

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Where to get it? This product is available from your favourite Murphy's Magic retailer.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Providence Playing Cards (Destino x The 1914) (0 Likes)
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