Take 13 of the most (in)famous executions in English history, 13 more from the French, another 13 from the Germany, and 13 from Russia and what have you got?
Executed Today‘s one-of-a-kind Execution Playing Cards.
Exclusively available through this site, this harrowing 54-card deck of playing cards —
jokersexecutioners included, of course — plays your favorite card game right out of the box, but be warned: it plays for only the highest of stakes.
With four non-standard custom suits representing the countries in question, each card preserves a vignette from history’s scaffolds. In every hand you deal you’ll enjoy gorgeous artwork accompanied by intriguing historical synopses.
It’s a fascinating collectible, a unique gift for the history buff in your life, and a frightfully enjoyable addition to any game room.
Where do I order?
Just use the widget right on this page, or try this direct link to the store.
Just how graphic are these cards?
They’re cards about the death penalty, so they’re likely not for small children.
Still, our conceit on this site is that we’re spelunkers of history more than we are voyeurs of death. Most cards simply have portraiture or relevant artwork, along with a few words of explanatory text.
Approximately 15 cards are illustrated with paintings or prints (non-photographic) of executions — a natural theme for artists over the years. These are generally along the lines of content that one would see in a school textbook or a television documentary: they convey an unpleasant scene without gratuitously shocking the senses.
The most graphic of these non-photographic images is the disemboweling of Hugh Despenser.
The most disturbing single card (by a wide margin over the other 53) depicts the body of German Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel … photographed post-hanging by the U.S. Army. The set has only a handful of photographs, and this is the only violent one.
In addition to the death penalty, several cards contain text allusions to adultery and one to abortion. (But the only image even vaguely racy is this tame glamor shot of Mata Hari.)
Is it a real deck of cards? Can I play a game with it?
Yes! It’s a regular 52-card poker deck (plus two jokers), with four suits each arrayed in the customary Ace-through-King ranks.
The suits themselves are not the customary ones, but national icons for Germany, France, Russia, and England. It might look a little bit wrong not to see hearts and clubs and so forth. However, for play, what really matters about suits in a deck of cards is not their specific shapes, but that they number 4 by 13.
The cards are printed to last on durable 100% plastic card stock (63 x 88 x 0.3 mm) and come in a custom tuck box.