Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Cary Collection of Playing Cards and Ephemera

In 1976, I went to Yale College and I found it a very validating experience. Let me be specific. When I arrived at Yale, the major library, Sterling Library, had a display of playing cards and related ephemera. The fact that Yale organized and displayed a major playing card exhibition for my arrival greatly contributed to my sense - as a joker playing card collector - of belonging there.

This article is incomplete. But it has been unfinished for half a year now so I'm publishing it hoping somebody will notice this incomplete article and help me complete it.... I'm also in need of some clarifications and fact checking. 

What is the Cary Collection of Playing Cards?  Melbert B. Cary, Jr. was a life long collector of playing cards: he amassed a world leading collection of cards and related materials from around the world that go back to antiquity.  Following his death,  his wife Mary Flagler Cary gave the collection to the Beineke Library at Yale. The Beineke Library  Cary collection  goes beyond cards and includes significant ephemera, a word that I do not fully understand. 

Also, it's not clear to me what the relationship is between the epiphenous Cary Collection of Playing Cards and the Cary Collection business.  Anyone?

I bought at a 52 Plus Joker auction a copy of the Index to the Cary Collection.  But it maybe should be updated since the Cary collection has been update by a major acquisition. 

In 2017, the Cary Collection using funds from the Mary Flagler Cary Fund  acquired the playing card collection of Tom and Judy DawsonTom and Judy Dawson are royalty in the playing card world due to their creation of the modern version of the Hochman Encyclopedia. It bothers me that Wikipedia does not have an article about Tom and Judy Dawson.

 Tom and Judy Dawson

Tom and Judy Dawson are collectors of antiques and playing card ephemera. They have been collecting for over 40 years. Early on, the Dawsons were influenced by Gene Hochman, an avid collector and playing card enthusiast. Hochman was the author of the original Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, which was re-written by the Dawsons in 2000. Before his retirement as a Certified Public Accountant, Tom was a senior partner at the accounting organization Deloitte. Judy pursues her interests in the areas of antique collecting, gardening, and home design, in addition to having raised their six children. In addition to caring for their collection, Tom and Judy serve as officers of 52 Plus Joker, a club for those interested in antique American and International playing cards. Judy also edits the club's quarterly publication, Clear the Decks.
The Cary Collection Index on my Bookshelf

Again, please help complete this article.

 An Introduction to Playing Cards and Collecting by Veteran Collectors Tom and Judy Dawson  Posted by EndersGame Reviewer on October 06, 2020  

Tom and Judy Dawson Collection of Playing Card Ephemera. Yale University

Joker collecting resources, websites, books, groups, and museums that I find useful.

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Thanks for your input and for reading and thinking about jokers.