So here are a few thoughts on the new Curator deck from the House of Playing Cards. Although this may come as a surprise to regular readers, I don’t actually collect playing cards. However, I think this deck nearly got me to! I thought the minimalist tuck case design was so appealing that I could only just bring myself to break the cellophane to review this. But I’m glad I did. This was a rare treat!

But before we get on to the deck, one final word about the tuck case. I just love the monogram of Emmanuel Jose, the deck’s designer, which adorns the back of the case. An ‘E’ and a ‘J’ beautifully styled into the form of a spade. End of rave.

The next surprise, which I was actually quite pleased about, is that once you remove the cellophane there are no further barriers to entry! That is to say there is no seal. I’m actually really pleased about this, because in all the decks of cards I have opened, I have still not found a way to break the seal that leaves a pleasing appearance for the rest of the case. So this continues the minimalist theme nicely.

Unusually, we’re not going to show you lots of pictures of the faces of the cards in this review because we want you to discover them for yourself. But each one is individually designed making it a unique gem. Lots of creativity has gone into this and there are many allusions to stories and well known characters and images along the way. I love the ideas that have gone into the court cards and the subtlety of some of the other designs.

We’re happy to share the back design, which gives a pointer to the way the cards were designed. This is actually my least favourite part of the deck, but is tasteful and fairly minimal.

In addition to an advertising card with the ‘House of Playing Cards’ logo on it, there is an additional card which contains a poem by the creator about the design process and drawing you – the owner – in as a ‘curator’ of the deck. This sets the tone for the whole affair and is another indication of the thought that has gone into this deck.

So yes, we like it, and we think you’ll enjoy it too. Oh, and they handle beautifully too on good quality Bicycle stock. This is a limited edition deck (only 3,500 produced) so snap one up quick if you want one. Our review copy was kindly supplied by MA Pro Magic who stock them for £5.33.

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