Oscar Wilde playing cards


A set of playing cards created in 1986 by artist Rosita Fanto in association with Wilde biographer Richard Ellmann. Out of print now as these things usually are but this card trading site has more views of the cards, as does this page. Fanto and Ellmann also created a card set based on James Joyce’s life and work.

The Oscar Wilde Playing Cards condense Wilde into pictorial form. Three suits are based upon his writings: Hearts are Instigations, Clubs are Images, Diamonds are Complications. Spades are Happenings in his life. Richard Ellman, Wilde’s biographer, has devised the intricate scheme, and R. Fanto has executed the witty and unexpected drawings, with occasional allusion to previous designs.

Update: Neil Bartlett reviews Oscar’s Books by Thomas Wright.

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