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The Poetry Game of 1898 & Red Transferware Vignette

"A room without books is like a body without a soul"
The first time I read that Cicero quote I thought of how true it was.  I think I have books in every room of my house.  Some of my books serve dual purposes since I not only love to read them, but love to decorate with them to. 

This vignette is in my office.  An antique transferware chamber pot serves as a book holder for a small collection of Shakespeare books.
This chamber pot is from the Aesthetic Movement. 


What I want to show though isn't actually a book, but  it's just as good as one!  It is an antique playing card set that dates to 1898.  It covers one of my favorite subjects; poetry. 

It is complete with the instructions still intact, inside the cover of the box.  

Each card front depicts the home of Longfellow.

There are 52 playing cards, 13 cards from four different countries; America, Ireland, England and Scotland.  Each country is represented by several famous poets, and each card has a few verses from the poem it represents as well as a scene to go along with the poem.

When I first came across the cards I bought just a few of them from an Etsy seller who broke the set up and was selling them in lots of 3.

   Then the search began for the entire set and a few months later I found it online and fully complete in its original box. 

 It's one of my favorite little things.

To add a library to house is to give that house a soul
~another great Cicero quote~



  1. That is a charming little collectable and thanks to online shopping you could complete it.

  2. Nancy, these are two of my favorite quotes. Love books! Your vignette is gorgeous and you are the perfect one who should own a set of these cards. How wonderful that you found a complete set. Another beautiful post!!!

  3. I love those cards, Nancy! I've never seen those before! What a great collectible and it suits your vignette beautifully.

  4. Beautiful post Nancy, love the red transferware. Your vignette is lovely and so is the quote.

  5. This is a very pretty post, Nancy. I love the stained glass piece behind the vignette. That is gorgeous. Deb

  6. How wonderful are those cards!! I love your transferware vignette, Thank You for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful week!

    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  7. Love those cards. What a find! So glad you were able to get the whole set. I too love books, but I think we have way too many....rooms full. But they do add such am ambience to a space. Really enjoyed this post.


  8. Nancy, this is so beautiful! The red is really so picture perfect and so decorative.

  9. Nancy, I just adore your blog!! I always learn something. These cards are such treasures - thank you for sharing. Oh, and your transferware is pretty special, too!!

  10. That is the neatest set of cards I have ever seen. I have not seen anything like it-ever! Love them- xo Diana

  11. I totally agree! You put these elements together beautifully!

  12. I couldn't agree more, Nancy. That little poetry packet is just wonderful. (Longfellow and I share a birthday and I've always loved his poems.) Have you played it with your family yet? We used to play "Authors" when I was small.

  13. Wow, Nancy. You are so lucky to have this entire set. It is a true treasure.

    I hope to see you this weekend for Pink Saturday's Fourth Birthday Celebration.♥

  14. Thanks for sharing!Lovely post.

  15. You have the best collections Nancy!!! You really do!! I love this set of outstanding red and white...and I am not a red person, but oh is it pretty!

  16. Hi Nancy, Beautiful photos and I adore the red and white transferware. The cards are so them!

  17. Love your transferware! I've just starting collecting it, wish I started years ago. Yes, books seem to add so much to a home. I always enjoy your lovely posts. Have a great weekend!

  18. Now that I think about it, I have books in every room, too! Some are from my grandmother and most are my husbands collections...I can't imagine not having a book to pick up and read.

    I adore your transferware...beautiful pink/red! And, the poem cards! I have never run across any in all the antique stores I have been in from the East coast to the West coast....wonderful find!
    ♥ Jil

  19. What a fabulous collection, and how lucky you were to find these poem cards. I have never seen any - and I buy a lot of vintage ephemera.

    Happy Pink Saturday!

  20. Such a sensational entry for Pink Birthday!

    Please come and link at my Color Connection meme through my PINKentry, hope you'll join the fun!

    I am now your follower.

  21. Hi Nancy! Your dishes are so pretty! I LOVE the poem cards. What a great find!! Denise

  22. Gorgeous!

    Thanks for joining Color Connection last week. The linky is up now for this week's round, so come and link up once again.

  23. One of hubby's favorite quotes is "When a man dies, a library burns". I thought of it when I read your post...and I love your little poem game. OF COURSE, the red transferware is the star of the show!!
    Thanks for posting!!


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