Museum and Library Closures

The New-York Historical Society will be closed on September 23, and select spaces will be closed September 24. For details, please visit our calendar.

The Elite Conversation Cards

The Elite Conversation Cards
The Elite Conversation Cards
Title
The Elite Conversation Cards
Date 
1887
Medium 
Cardboard, paper
Dimensions 
box: 7/8 x 3 1/2 x 4 7/8 in. ( 2.2 x 8.9 x 12.4 cm )
Description 
"The Elite Conversation Cards" card game with 48 playing cards in a paper covered cardboard box; box cover lithographed with a polychrome image of a two cupids gathering flowers; box cover inscribed, "ThE/ ELITE/ SOCIAL & SENTIMENTAL/ CONVERSATION/ CARDS/ McLOUGHLIN BROS, N.Y."; playing cards printed with suggestive questions and answers on each side of the card such as "Do you think one true love enough?" and "My conscience rests easy on that score."
Credit Line 
The Liman Collection
Object Number 
2000.558
Marks 
lithographed: on the box cover: "ThE/ ELITE/ SOCIAL & SENTIMENTAL/ CONVERSATION/ CARDS/ McLOUGHLIN BROS, N.Y."
Gallery Label 
Courting couples uncomfortable with romantic conversation could break the ice with conversation cards, which contained humorous, flirtatious questions and answers. McLoughlin Brothers promoted the cards by claiming: "to bashful people they are a great blessing, not only furnishing an hour's amusement, but sometimes leading them to the gates of matrimony."
Bibliography 
Hofer, Margaret K. "The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board & Table Games." New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group