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  • Writer's picturePeter Berthoud

The London Post - A New Game, Jaques & Son,102, Hatton Garden. Published c. 1870

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

The London Post is a set collecting game, described by Jaques in an advert as:

64 Cards, with beautiful Illustrations, in Colours, of the Chief Buildings of the Great City, impressing on the mind the Postal Districts in which they are situated, 1s.

London’s principal postal districts assumed the form that we are familiar with today in 1868, this game was an up to date response to the definition of those boundaries and provided a practical aid to learning them.

What struck me first when going through this pack was how relatively “new” many of the buildings were in 1870.

Out of the 55 picture cards only 15 have buildings constructed before 1770. 40 of the featured sights were built less than a century before the pack was published and 37 of these were built after 1820, so within 50 years. 18 buildings in the pack were completed, or complete enough to depict, less than 25 years before the game hit the shelves of stationers and fancy goods merchants.

If a similar pack of cards was being created today and the brief was to include images of 55 well known London landmarks and specified that:

  • 40 must be built later than 1922

  • 37 of which must be later than 1972

  • and 18 of these need to have been completed since 1997

I’d be hard pressed to come up with a list that fitted the bill. If the the brief was narrowed to include only landmarks that are attractive and/or interesting, I’d be stumped.

Here are all 55 picture cards from the first edition and their key cards with card backs filling in the gaps. These cards were prepared and cut by hand and they feature many characteristic small errors made by the makers.

Click on any card for a full-sized image.


"Rules for Playing the Game of London"

"Rules for Playing the Game of London"

In the Second Edition of c1895 two cards were changed:


Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket, this card was removed. The theatre was badly damaged by fire in 1867. It was only rebuilt in its current form in 1897. The Imperial Institute, which was built 1887-1894, was added to the pack as a replacement (see World of Playing Cards article for an image of this card).


Tower Bridge was added to the pack. It was constructed 1886-94. I do not know which card it replaced. There is an image of the Crystal Palace card at World of Playing Cards, so it must have been Greenwich Hospital, St. Saviour’s, Lambeth Palace or St Thomas’s that got the chop. If you know which, please drop me a line.


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