The Murphy Varnish Transformation Playing Cards were originally printed in 1883 by Andrew Dougherty. It was an advertising deck for the Murphy Varnish company from Newark New Jersey. The Murphy Varnish company was founded in 1865 by Franklin Murphy, the former Governor of New Jersey. In a transformation deck there are unique pictures on each card intertwined with the pips, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, & Hearts. As an advertising deck it depicts comical pictures of varnish salesmen, people worshiping cans of varnish and all of the good uses for the Murphy Varnish.
In the Hochman Encyclopedia of Playing Cards it is listed as both a transformation deck and as an advertising deck. The deck is so popular it is actually on the cover of the Hochman encyclopedia of American Playing Cards. This is a highly sought after deck by collectors and very difficult to find - artwork from a friend's collection was used to reproduce and recreate this gorgeous deck. The standard decks are a recreation of the original in a modern tuck box. The original had a blank back, but for the standard the front and back of the tuck will be identical.
The Limited Edition versions had a print run of 1883 copies each. Housed in a vintage long tongue tuck box and wrapped in a custom paper wrap, then sealed with individually numbered stamps. The Limited Edition decks come with a stainless steel Ace of spades numbered cert.