First issued in 1893. Discontinued soon after. This is a scarce deck in any color. I have never seen it in brown or green and red or blue decks are very hard to come by. Angel is one of several Bicycle back designs that do not feature bicycles or bicycle parts.

This deck was issued in two variants, pictured below in higher resolution. The reverse of each card is pictured below it. I don't know why or when the back design was changed, but the creation of new printing plates often resulted in minor changes to Bicycle back designs. Mrs. Robinson only pictured the second variant in her Bicycle Card booklet.

Note that a third, more ornate variant of the Angel back was issued first as an early version of the Russell and Morgan Printing Company's No. 303 Army & Navy deck. See the scan of that back, along with its matching ace of spades, below. Also pictured is the same back in an image from "Popular Games of Cards," a USPC promotional booklet from 1888.

The next image, below, shows two Angel back designs from other manufacturers. All were working with essentially the same design elements. The next image is of the United States Printing Company's Ivory Whist Angel back, which was a narrower version of the Bicycle Angel design. The Angel back, in all of its iterations, was well loved in the 1880's and 1890's.

The last image, below, is from a Universal Playing Card Co. catalogue in the collection of a Japanese collector, Kei Izumi. Several of the backs in Universal's extensive offerings bear a striking resemblance (or are identical) to USPCC back designs. The image below shows their adaptation of an Angel Back design. In this case, the design most closely resembles the Consolidated Card Company's Bee Angel. Also see the Club, Expert and Nautic pages for more images from this interesting catalogue.

A red Angel single, identical to the red back design below, sold for $67 on eBay on June 18, 2015. Interestingly, a blue Angel single offered by the same dealer, matching the equally scarce blue back below, only fetched $31 (although still a healthy sum for a single card).

  2. Allwheel                                            4. Arizona Plaid  


Here are two Angel backs by other manufacturers, unknown and the Consolidated Card Co.

The United States Printing Company's Ivory Whist Angel Back.

The Unversal Playing Card Co.'s Angel Back.