Some antiques are just too charming to pass by. While I see these Victorian desktop items regularly described (and accurately so, for today's collectors) as flower press (layers of blotter paper cut to size and between which one places blossoms to press as they dry), the actual initial use was as a playing card press. The old cards tended to warp a bit from use and from the nature of the hard-bonded paper. If you're a playing card collector, you've seen this phenomenon. Homes with card players (nearly all in the leisure classes) would always have a card press to maintain playable flatness in their decks of cards. Some were more utilitarian (like the 2nd one pictured in final photos) and some were very ornate and elegant. This is a Victorian era English card press. Velvet covered with papered interior, lathe-turned hardwood posts and braces, and a superb and complete beadwork ornamented top. Beautifully preserved, even if you don't have antique cards, this will delight just about anyone who has ever taught a child to press/dry flowers and make their own greeting cards. The measurements are noted on the photos. The few antique cards shown do not go with this press, and they are an incomplete old Tarot card grouping - not included.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the beadwork is quite superb and complete. The old forest green silk-nap velvet also remains in very good condition, though I can see that along the back and side of the bottom 'board' the silk-nap velvet has been augmented with 3/8" velvet ribbon of same color. You'll need to really look to notice the difference - a nice restoration of its one flaw. The wood parts are each in wonderful condition and it is a working press - whether for playing cards or flowers.