the queen of spades, part 2: family A

Queen of Spades, Bicycle deck
Figure 1

I’ll call the most prominent queen of spades design family in my card collection the “A” family. The standard for this family seems to be the Bicycle spade queen (figure 1). Aside from my Bicycle decks, an exact copy of this queen is found on two other decks in my collection. I have two more decks which feature crude copies of the same design. On one, the black stripe on the sleeve and an arrow-point on the shield (the right-side point on the second line from the top) are missing. On the other, the red gem is missing from the staff, and the colour is much paler and the fill doesn’t match up with the outline.

Some consistent features of the A-family queen are the closed hand (figure 2), the diamond shape on top of the staff (figure 3), the half-diamond/V pattern in the centre of the breastplate (figure 4), the bent bar above the horizontal bar in the middle division (figure 5), the flower design on the crown (figure 6), and how the neck section looks like long hair (figure 6).

Queen of Spades detail (shield, hand, and flower)
Figure 2
Queen of Spades detail (staff)
Figure 3
Queen of Spades detail (breastplate)
Figure 4
Queen of Spades detail (middle division section)
Figure 5
Queen of Spades detail (head and crown)
Figure 6

I have two other queens who belong to this family.

Queen of Spades
Figure 7
Queen of Spades
Figure 8

One (figure 7) is a crude copy of the bicycle queen, but features a few unique design innovations – see the rim on the crown, the outside edge of the breastplate (the gold on black curlicues), the dress section below the breastplate (white on red), and the right patterned of the shield.

The other (figure 8 ) is even more unique. Although based on the same design, the image appears to be entirely redrawn. This queen is finely executed, and every detail is slightly different from the bicycle standard. I got this deck at Lee Valley.

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