The Pippoglyph Playing Cards Deck – First Edition – Review

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Pippoglyph Playing Cards Jack of Spades

Pippoglyph Playing Cards Jack of Spades

I am very proud to be the owner of the First Edition of the Pippoglyph deck by Ben Crenshaw, now of Bent Castle Workshops. When my deck was printed in 2004 it was the first time I had ever seen a completely bespoke deck – not only the back but each and every card was designed from scratch. I loved that. This deck excited me and I had to have it.

Inspired by Celtic art and illuminated manuscripts

PippoGlyphThe Celtic style artwork was what hooked me in at first. Being Irish I of course appreciated the knots and swirls in the designs. A lot of work has gone into producing these cards and it shows. And I loved that someone was taking a huge risk in redesigning what has basically remained unchanged for many many years. Not a complete overhaul though. All the essential features of each card have been maintained, but ‘aesthetically expanded’ upon. While the deck is printed on unnamed card stock it is nice and smooth and easy to handle. In spite of this I have never played a hand of cards with these. I just don’t want anyone’s filthy paws on them – yes, I can be that selfish.

2nd Edition successfully funded through Kickstarter in 2013

Pippoglyph Playing Cards 2nd Edition

Pippoglyph Playing Cards 2nd Edition Decks

I was delighted to hear that Bent Castle Workshops have re-issued this deck with some alterations – mainly the backs, but also the deck now contains 60 cards. The 52 standard playing cards, 2 Jokers, a double-backed card, a blank card and 4 ‘X’ cards – one in each suit. Printed on quality linen cardstock, these cards would appeal to collectors, magicians, and cardists alike. The new decks come in 2 back colours; green and brown.

Where to buy:

The 2nd Edition Pippoglyph Playing Cards are available from for $10.00 per deck. Also available are 4″ x 6″ and 8″ x 10″ prints of some court cards and Jokers at $8.00 and $20.00 respectively. US shipping costs are calculated at the time of ordering. Unfortunately, with shipping to the UK starting at $24.00 I doubt I’ll be buying the 2nd edition anytime soon…. :'(

I haven’t been able to find anywhere selling the First Edition deck, though do let me know if you have better luck than me. And no… I won’t be selling mine :)

I’m happy to hear any of your comments, so if there’s anything you’d like to add or any questions you may have, please leave them in the box below.

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3 thoughts on “The Pippoglyph Playing Cards Deck – First Edition – Review

  1. doug

    Would be really interested to hear your comments on collecting as an investment. Is there such a thing as ‘investment’ decks? Do you know of any cards that tend to increase in value? Very interesting site.

    1. Jyl Post author

      Doug, right now there is nothing BUT investment opportunities in playing cards :) It hadn’t even crossed my mind to do an actual post on it but I might just now that you’ve mentioned it. {I had actually started to write quite a lengthy reply to this but I am definitely going to save it for a whole post on the subject – thank you for a great idea!}

      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment Doug (and for your feedback too) Thanks :)


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