Introduced in 1904. Discontinued in 1918. It's hard to believe this design ran for fourteen years; the only singles I have seen are from salesman's sample books. I have one complete red deck, which is the only one I've ever seen.

While there is occasional repetition of some of the little odd-shaped dots and patterns, I have tried and failed to find any hint of symmetry in the pattern of this back. It appears to be largely random, and the individual elements are unlike any snowflake I have ever seen.

A collector friend writes, "I have a sample book that probably represents the 1918 edition, based upon the latest back design copyright of 1917. What I found interesting here is that Snowflake, Star Plaid No. 1, Tri-Plaid and Western Plaid were all available simultaneously under both Bicycle and their Army & Navy #3032 brand, all in red and blue."

The final image below shows an early Russell & Morgan square-cornered faro deck that features a very similar patterned snowflake back design. It can be found in the Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, identified as US11.

A pair of singles from a salesman's sample book, Snowflake and Coral (later known as Twig), sold on eBay for $126 on February 27, 2017. Given the rarity of both of these back designs, that was not an unreasonable hammer price (see the Snowflake sample, below).

  65. Safety                                          67. Sprocket No. 1  


The Snowflake Sample card. Others sample cards of this type were specially
printed with a solid background in the corners to render the text more legible.

This is a Russell & Morgan faro deck that featured a similar snowflake patterned back.