Introduced in 1885. Discontinued in 1894. Relatively easy to find in red or blue, even in its earliest variants. Singles in all four colors are available, too, but expect to pay a premium for the brown and green ones. A green single card sold for $78 on eBay on June 9, 2016. We'll see what a brown one fetches...

A collector once asked me why this back was called "Old Fan." This made me realize that it was not obvious to everyone that the design incorporates a Japanese style fan. I sent him a scan of the card with the fan highlighted, as seen in the first image, below.

Old Fan is a product of an interest in Japanese themes during the Victorian era, which was manifested in what became known as the Anglo-Japanese style. This style can be found in china, silver, tiles, wallpaper and other decorative objects from the time. See a few examples of other Anglo-Japanese playing card designs below, all of which feature the ever-popular Japanese fan.

The last image is a comparison with the Bicycle Expert back. This is the only instance I can think of where one Bicycle design was pirated for another. The Expert back, in turn, was copied in a couple of Chas. Goodall designs in the United Kingdom, as shown on the Expert page.

A red US8 Old Fan ace of spades sold on eBay for $76 on June 16, 2017.

  56. New Fan                                                                                   58. Pedal   


The fan revealed


Old Fan and Expert - easy to confuse one with the other