Victor E. Mauger was born in England and emigrated to New York in 1855. He started a business importing metal goods. Around 1870 he also began importing playing cards from the Chas. Goodall & Son company from England. The Goodall Company began making special decks with a unique Ace of Spades for their American decks. By 1873 Mauger started to manufacture his own brand of playing cards to supplement his supply and he altogether dropped Goodall in 1876 due to high import duties.
His deck printed in 1876, The Centennial Exposition Deck is thought to be the first deck to commemorate a fair. They were made in conjunction with the world's fair in Philadelphia. The deck also commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence.
The cards had several unique details that set them apart from other american decks of the day. They were slightly larger measuring 90mm x 62mm as opposed to the standard poker size.
Indices were just beginning to be used. Andrew Dougherty had a patent in 1876 for his Triplicates and The New York Consolidated company had a patent the same year for their Squeezers. Mauger wanted to use Indices on his cards so he opted to put them in all 4 corners making them Quadruplicates. He went a step further and like many popular European decks made the pips 4 colors with Black Spades, Red Hearts, Yellow Diamonds, and Blue Clubs. Almost sounds like a lucky charms commercial.
The decorative ace of spades has the dates 1776 & 1876 commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the signing of Declaration of Independence. It also has the latin words "NUNQUAM RETRORSUM"; translation: "No Revoke" or "Never Retreat"
There will be 5 versions of this deck, They are listed in greater detail as you scroll down the page.
- USPCC Standard (Blue Back)
- USPCC Limited (1,000) (Blue Back)
- Mauger Replica (Red Back)