Monday, January 25, 2010

You got to know when to hold 'em... Stancraft NFL Playing Cards

Steve from the excellent site recently brought this great series of Stancraft NFL playing cards from the late '60s to my attention:

The cards feature the artwork of Dave Boss who did a series of NFL team paintings that were produced as the first set of team posters for the NFL back in 1965.

Note the infamous "CB" logo on the sides of the Browns helmets:

The following year, the paintings were featured on the covers of all the NFL team's 1966 programs.

Decks were produced for each team using the Dave Boss paintings:

I haven't found a picture of the Bears cards yet

Here is an picture showing the box the cards came in:

Since the Saints didn't join the NFL until 1967, presumably Dave Boss also did this painting for the Saints at a later date. Notice the very large fleur de lis on the helmet.

Still looking for the Cardinals as well

I'm glad Steve made me aware of these as I've always enjoyed the Dave Boss paintings as they capture the teams in a very colorful way, and showcase the teams' uniforms in all their mid 60's glory.

This series of cards was not Stancraft's first set of NFL playing cards as Stancraft had previously produced cards in 1963 with a red background featuring NFL logos and cards with a green background featuring helmets:

Its interesting to see the chin strap as part of the helmet. For a period of time in the 60's, it appears that helmets were shown with the chin strap

until the NFL later went with the no-strap look when using helmets to promote the league:

Stancraft later went back to the helmet design in the early 1970's with separate decks featuring the AFC and NFC (and of course no chin strap):

There have certainly been many other NFL playing card sets produced over the years, but I think the Stancraft cards featuring the Dave Boss paintings would have to rank as the best.


Mike said...

You know, I've always thought the helmets on the 1963 cards looked funny, and I never stopped to figure out why. Of course, it's the chinstrap!

Thanks for the nice article--and all the pics.

CaptKirk42 said...

I love those paintings and the cards. I've got a pack of the trading cards based on the paintings of the Rams (still sealed I got from Ebay for like $10 or less) my brother had the Redskins deck back in the day and we played those cards to death. He probably still has them somewhere, or what is left of them LOL.

Anonymous said...

I have the original Dave Boss Philadelphia Eagle oil painting. Anyone interested?

sherry ahrens said...

I have the original Dave Boss New Orleans Saints oil painting. Please contact me if you are interested at

Anonymous said...

I have a set of 1963 Stancraft playing cards never been used they are the green back with helmets. The set is complete with jokers. if interested

Anonymous said...

Hello all i have an original Boss oil painting PittSteelers the one seen on the card # 38 running with the football. intrested? i think its from 1965.

younglove235 said...

Hi.. can anyone tell me how i can find out if a canvas is real? Its by Dave Boss and its the 1970 49er painting. I looked at the other ones and its in the original frame with a stamp on the back that says similart, Ind Hollywood,Florida(on the frame work) I can't find anyone to tell me how much it can be worth. You can reach me at if you want me to send pictures of it. Thank you. Norm..

younglove235 said...

Hi. Where can I find out how much a Dave Boss 49er oil painting in its original frame work? My email is

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hi. Where can I find out how much a Dave Boss 49er oil painting in its original frame work? My email is

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I remembered ordering some of those 24x36 Dave Boss posters back around 1968..had the Rams, 49'ers, Jets, Raiders and Saints. Something like $1.50 a piece, order form was on the backside label of a charlie-the-tuna can. Naturally those posters disappeared over the years but thanks to ebay I have completed all 26 AFL/NFL posters including the rare NFL collage one. Those cards are next on my list for my sports room. said...

is it original are a print

Unknown said...

I have the only Colts-Redskins Dave Boss painting on the net!Ive been trying to find others for years! I can only find printed copies. I wonder if Dan has it in his collection?

Unknown said...

I have an original Chicago Bears David Boss painting. It's amazing; I don't think I'd ever sell it, but I am intrigued by the disparity in prices online. Some of these original team paintings are going for $40 while others are going upwards of $500-$600. I'm interested in finding out how many of these paintings David Boss created for each team. I assume that has to be a major factor in valuing this piece. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks! imabyer2@ gmail

Unknown said...

What's a price for these decks in carrying case