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The Polyantha Story

Polyantha is a rose species. The name Rosa Polyantha were given by the German botanists Philipp Franz von Siebold and Joseph Gerhard Zuccarin in 1843 for a multi-flowered rose from East Asia. It turned out that the Swedish botanist Carl Peter Thunberg had already described the same rose in 1784 as Rosa multiflora.

Polyantha Playing Cards

However, all this has nothing to do with my deck and there is no other special meaning behind this name. My original idea was it to name my decks after rose species. I spent a few hours looking after names of roses. It turned out that a lot roses have weird names so I discarded this idea pretty fast again. But I liked Polyantha a lot because of the phonetics.

Since I'm half German and half and half Filipino I think it's also funny that the name were given by German botanics for a rose from East Asia.

After my first deck - the Black Roses Playing Cards - I wanted to design a deck for the card table since I'm a huge fan of any kind of card table work. That's how the Polyantha's were born.

You need to know that I designed my first Black Roses Playing Cards deck already in 2014. I printed 102 decks with MPC. Almost 4 years later at the end of 2017 I finally had the guts to start a Kickstarter campaign to print 2500 decks with the United States Playing Card Company. I designed the Polyantha Playing Cards 1 year later in 2015 and I also only printed 102 decks with MPC.

When I finished the back design I knew something was still missing. I didn't want to print the same card faces again that I already used in the very first Black Roses to basically sell the same deck twice.

It didn't took me long to find out what to do. I removed every color in this deck so that only black remained. A bold move but I liked the idea since I didn't know anybody who has done this before. I also made all pips a bit smaller to make it look more elegant. It took me a while but unfortunately this detail wasn't really noticeable in the MPC deck. I also marked the Polyantha's. A must have for me in a casino styled deck.

Polyantha Playing Cards

The way how I designed the tuck box was also a very bold move with the Black Roses logo as an all over print and no deck name at all on the box. In fact the very first Polyantha Playing Cards not just had no visible name on the box - you also couldn't read the name on the cards. I just wanted to design the coolest deck without looking what I need to do to be commercially successful.

These "bold moves" were the reason why I needed another 4 years now to finally release this deck with the USPCC. I was afraid that the deck might not be so successful on Kickstarter.

Now, after 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns I'm finally able to print my cards without Kickstarter. A smart move and a safe cash grab would be a fancy fashion colored cardistry deck. Or any other deck that would look a bit more commercial but I really don't care about that so much.

Of course I also wanted this deck in the casino playing card quality it deserves. But I probably still wouldn't have printed the deck without a specific person. This person is also the reason why the Innocence Playing Cards exist and she told me she likes the Polyantha's the most.

I redesigned every card again for the USPCC release. Different pips and a new faces on the courts. 2 new "ad cards" are in the deck now. A black casino cut card with the Black Roses logo and a 50/50 gaff card. Half 2 of Diamonds and half 8 of Spades. I also decided to write the name of the deck on the bottom of the box since it can be really confusing when there is no name at all on the box. I know that from the Innocence deck.

One last fun fact: you see two black roses on the Ace of Spades. I did that because it was the second deck I've ever designed. I wanted to add a rose to every other deck I design but I also discarded this idea after I didn't printed the Polyantha's after the first USPCC Black Roses. It also would look weird after the 20th deck.

As you can see I put a lot thought and effort into this deck. You always get so much more then just another deck if you order my cards. I don't need to come up with a story to sell my work. I don't even care if nobody would buy this deck. You know you get a piece of art and I really appreciate your interest.

The Polyantha Playing Cards will be available on February 19 here on

Much love and thanks for reading.



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    Hieu Nguyen
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