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The second item that I have again purchased that came from the war relics display in Tompkins County, is this deck of well used Civil War playing cards. Like the frying pan and utensils carried "from Atlanta to the sea," these probably came from Henry Rudy, a veteran of the 137th New York. The deck contains 52 cards: all of the spades, hearts, and diamonds, missing the ace of spades and six of spades, but with a second 8 of diamonds and the manufacturer's card, which may have substituted for the missing cards. The cards are very well used- stained and rubbed front and back, but really look like most decks must have looked after being carried in a pocket or haversack for several months on campaign. Only one has a tell-tale sign- the two of spades has a torn lower corner.
The manufacturer's card indicates the deck is an "Excelsior" deck by A. Dougherty, 6 Beekman St., New York.
I show a number of photos of the deck to give you an idea of condition. If you are looking for a pristine deck-- this is not it. If you want one that looks like it was carried in the field, handled by dirty and greasy hands, probably wet in crossing a creek or two, this is it.
I show a photo of one of the flyers that was with the group of relics that came out of this display. (I only have the photo of it. The original went with some of the other relics many year ago.) As detailed in my description of the frying pan and mess utensils, this was part of war relics display put on at the local fair grounds some time between the end of the Spanish American War and the beginning of World War One. The display was then stored at the Camp mansion in Trumansburg, NY, and sold when that estate was cleared out about twenty years ago.
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