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Primary Name
De La Rue
Alternate Names
Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd.
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ObjectID: 4886
Description Edit | History

Playing-card manufacturers of London, England.

Thomas de la Rue moved to London in 1821 and founded a stationer and printer. In 1831 the business gained a Royal Warrant to produce playing cards. In 1855 it started printing postage stamps and in 1860 it began printing banknotes, which is still its main focus. In 1896, the family partnership was converted to a private company.

The de la Rue family sold their interests in 1921 and Charles Goodall & Son Ltd, its nearest competitor, merged with De La Rue in 1922. The new company kept the De La Rue name but the Goodall identifiers continued to be used for decades. During the 1930s De La Rue created a number of board games. These included a cricket game, Stumpz, which was produced in a number of different editions, and Round The Horn, a game which re-created the then annual race of grain-laden, square-rigged sailing cargo ships from Australia to London. The games consisted of high quality components and used playing cards as part of the component set. The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1947. Thomas De La Rue & Company, Limited, changed its name in 1958 to The De La Rue Company Limited. In 1969 the playing cards division was sold to John Waddington.

In 1970 the entire De La Rue archive went to auction and fetched a price of 12,000 pounds. The buyer was the Spanish playing cards manufacturer Heraclio Fournier SA.

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