Introduced in 1891 (revised from 1894). Discontinued in
1980. A very long run for an elegant, decorative back design. New Fan was also issued in the 1960's
(I believe) as a double deck under the USPC Congress brand with a two-tone blue and purple back design.
I was not aware that this back design was offered in US8aa until
I saw an ace of spades for sale on eBay in April of 2017. The ace sold for $32 with another old ace (also
in poor condition) after 25 bids. This recent discovery puts the start date for New Fan at 1891, as noted above.
See an image of the ace, below.
The second image below is from a 1918 salesman's sample book.
This is a pinochle back, and a narrower version of the standard New Fan design. Several other Bicycle back
designs were available in the narrower style that year.
The next image shows one of two variants of Bicycle decks
I have found with Cuban tax stamps. I'm not sure of the date of the box shown below because the original deck
is absent, but I would estimate 1940's or 50's. I have three Cuban Bicycle decks, two are blue New Fan decks
and the third is a mint sealed blue Rider deck, which is posted now on the
Rider back page.
Jon Randall, a dealer in the UK, has once again found an
interesting Bicycle-related card for me. The card, pictured in the last image, below, is virtually identical
to the New Fan back, except a pair of swallows is shown on the fan instead of a bicycle. If you look closely,
the ornamental scrolls between the fans are more skilfully rendered than on the New Fan version of the design.
This makes me wonder if the Swallow back might have been adapted for the Bicycle design. The Swallow
deck was produced by Chas. Goodall, according to Jon, and the corresponding ace of spades is ca. 1890's.
Without a more precise date, we have another Bicycle mystery. To visit Jon's eBay playing card store, click here:
Worldwide Playing Cards.
New Fan has been recently reissued in standard red and blue decks,
as well as black with a white background and white with a black background (for a negative effect). The latter
pair of decks feature the US8b style spade on the box.