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Rare Set of Playing Cards Featuring 58 Maps of California Counties

The Second, and Only Complete, Known Example

A wonderful and rare cartographically themed card game, consisting of 116 playing cards, two for each of California’s 58 counties, with each county represented by a map card and a statistical card. Each map card depicts the county’s major geographic features, cities and towns, and rail lines; the statistical cards provide information about the county seat and the county’s population, surface area, and major products. Per the instructions, 10 cards are dealt to each player, and they then take turns requesting cards from their fellow players or drawing from the deck, until all cards are distributed. Whichever player accumulates the most “tricks” - i.e., county pairs - wins the game.

The cards are very well printed, and incorporate a variety of typefaces for the informational text as well as for the maps. The county name is boldly printed in red on each card.

The present example includes the rare original pasteboard box, illustrated with a delightful image of the Santa Barbara Mission, printed entirely in red ink.

A bit of California trivia: along with Louisiana, California has no fewer than nine counties named for saints, the most of any state in the Union.


Searches of RBH and turn up no records for this card game, and no record of other publications by the Los Angeles-based partnership of Combes & O’Banion, though the instructions card mentions a “Game of United States, after the same order."  The only other pack we have located is held by Yale, though that set is apparently missing the instructions card.

Condition Description
116 playing cards and 1 card of instructions (each 3 5/8 x 2 ½ inches), the playing cards printed in 2 colors with pictorial backs. Housed in original telescoping pasteboard box with pictorial overlay. Playing cards all in excellent condition, instructions card slightly bumped and soiled, the box with moderate wear and water damage - but a rare survival, withal.
OCLC 320734543 gives a pack at Yale only, as of Sept. 2022.
Combes & O’Banion Biography