Legends Playing Cards by Lawrence Sullivan – The 1st Edition

28 Nov



Lawrence Sullivan is a professional magician based in Hong Kong. He performs worldwide.

Slowly building his repertoire through classic texts on magic such as Expert Card Technique and CardCollege, he learned the basics of misdirection and deception. First of all, he is focused on card and close-up magic. That is why he decided to create his own decks of playing cards – Legends Playing Cards. So, you should understand that these playing cards were produced for magicians.

Deck was designed by the American prominent artist, Mark Stutzman. He designed the David Blaine “Split Spades” and “White Lions” playing card series, Whispering Imps playing cards for Chris Chelko.

The ConjuringArtsResearchCenter (Erdnase 216 Bee Squeezers Playing Cards) partnered up with Lawrence Sullivan to produce these nice decks of playing cards and to distribute them in US through their library. Lawrence was able to find a new quality playing card manufacturer in Taipei (Taiwan) due to CARC’s experience and connections in the field of playing card production.


The 1st edition of this deck is available in three different colours: Blue, Red and Metallic Green (no metallic ink). The only differences between three decks are different colours of backs and tuck cases.

The deck: 52 playing cards + 2 Jokers (one have a reveal). Poker size. Playing cards were printed on casino cardboard and have some kind of “embossed finish”. Decks have custom Jokers and the Ace of Spades. Court cards are Bicycle standard court cards with new faces and slightly changed colours. Number cards are slightly changed Bicycle standard number cards. Tuck cases are glossy.



The front sides of the tuck cases have some coat of arms, strict indication of the 1st edition, name and number (852) of the decks. Back sides of them reflect back design of the playing cards.

The coat of arms consists of two dragons, a deer, a wild boar (its black forebody is on the white background and its white back part is on the black background), a snake entwined round a sword, tendrils forming a shape of the Spades pip and a helmet on the top of the pip.

Lawrence mentioned the old Irish motto “An Lámh Fhoisteanach Abú” on his site as some hint to secrets incorporated into his decks. This motto translates as “The Steady Hand to Victory” and is a motto of the old Irish O’Sullivan (in the Irish language Ó Súilleabháin) clan. The O’Sullivan clan claimed a descent from the mythological followers of Milesius who were the first Celts to colonize Innis Fáil (island of destiny”). They had migrated from an area of the northwest coast of Spain which is now known as the province of Galicia.

In the last 200 or 300 years families connected to the O’Sullivan name have dispersed widely throughout the English-speaking world and to other areas. Emigrants often suppressed the prefix “O”.

By the way, in Jules Vernes’ Around the World in Eighty Days, the first character to agree with Phileas Fogg’s contention that he could successfully circumnavigate the globe in less than three months was a Sullivan 🙂


The coat of arms from the armorial shield of the O’Sullivan Mor

So, we have to think that Lawrence has an appropriate Irish roots and wanted to put O’Sullivan coat of arms on the front of tuck cases. Presumably the coat of arms on the tuck cases is some kind of modern interpretation of it. You can’t see any dragon on the old coat of arms. There are two lions on it instead. You can’t also see a bird and a branch on the new coat of arms. Tuck cases are a mix of Irish and Chinese cultural symbols and traditions. By the way, lions are symbolically represented in these decks (read below).

At first glance, tuck cases seem plain but they are full of slightly embossed details. Their slight embossing is unusual as it is easier to find it by feeling than to see it, not to mention any possibility to shoot it.

On the other hand these playing card are very creative and creativity of the producers should be respected. So, let’s do that in some creative way as well 🙂


The embossing “map” for the front part of the tuck cases

Sides of the tuck cases are the same and also have embossed elements. They have Lawrence’s embossed monogram, small embossed embellishments with yellow tints and the address of his site (“Lawrence Sullivan” is embossed).

Legends-Playing-Cards-boxes-right-sidesLegends-Playing-Cards-box-side-embossing Legends-Playing-Cards-boxes-left-sides

The upper parts of the tuck cases have embossed ambigrams for “Lawrence Sullivan”. Flaps have QR codes (leads here) and the same small embossed embellishments as above mentioned sides of the tuck cases. The back side of the flap better shows the embossing.

Legends-Playing-Cards-boxes-upper-part Legends-Playing-Cards-boxes-embossed-flap

Small flaps have embossed capital letters “L” (the left one) – Lawrence and “S” (the right one) – Sullivan. Again, back sides of the flaps better show the embossing. So, you see Lawrence’s initials when you open your deck.


The bottom parts of the tuck cases have some information about copyright, the designer, manufacturer’s place of residence (without its name), the address of Lawrence’s site and “You’re thinking 3 of Hearts” phrase.


“You’re thinking 3 of Hearts”. Really? And does he think that we will believe him? To whom? To a magician? To a person who professionally and elegantly fools people each day? 🙂 Ha! No way. The Eight of Diamonds, I tell you… embossed and put on the back sides of the tuck cases 😉



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6 responses to “Legends Playing Cards by Lawrence Sullivan – The 1st Edition

  1. Dmitry Titarenko

    29.11.2013 at 01:20

    o_O Really? Marked?? Black Legends??? Thanks for article, just in time!

    • Collector

      29.11.2013 at 01:43

      Dmitry, Black decks are not marked!

      • eirian

        30.11.2013 at 21:40

        Oh, I read this in your next post. But I’ve already bought two bricks. In any case, quality of the Legends was more important.

        • Collector

          30.11.2013 at 21:44

          I am glad to hear that.
          But there are rumors that even court cards of Black Legends are almost all “Bicycle standard” (without custom faces of royals).

  2. Max

    29.11.2013 at 00:46

    Great article collector!!!! I have enjoyed it a lot. New black legends releasing in some minutes…..


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