Introduced in 1893. Said to have been discontinued in 1907,
although I am skeptical. I have only seen this deck in US8, which would put the end date much earlier.
Margin Star No. 1 was recently reissued by USPC as "Star," but only in red. See the red card,
above, and the second image, below. Note that the border is much narrower on the reproduction card.
This is a very rare deck in any color. I have
never seen a red or blue single or deck in either color. On May 24, 2016, a green backed joker,
pictured below, sold for $297 on eBay. And that was probably a fair price for such a rare card.
On June 30, 2016 another green single (not a joker) sold for $137 (US). This trend of single
cards fetching such high prices (also see the Bird joker that
sold for a record price in 2016) may begin to highlight the inherent tension between deck collectors
and singles collectors. There is no doubt that some very rare decks have been "parted-out"
for singles over the years. One example is Big Gun.
Original red Big Gun singles are seen fairly often on eBay, and I purchased an empty red box
from the War Series deck a few years ago. Not hard to figure out what happened there. Was
Aristotle right when he said, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts"?
I suppose the playing card collecting community will ultimately decide.
A final note about Margin Star No. 1: this back
design is easily confused with an almost identical back used in one version of the original
Russell and Morgan Printing Company's No. 45 Texan decks. The only difference is that the
Texan decks had no margin (see the final image, below). Philip Morris offered a rather good
reproduction of the Texan cards in a boxed set in 1984, called "Marlboro Texan No. 45
Poker Cards." Lee Asher has some of these sets for sale on his website. For a link, click
HERE or on the image of the cards, below.