The second deck in the Encarded Signature Series, Chancellor, is the perfect follow up to the stunning series' launch deck Zenith. Chancellor took the bar that Zenith set and surpassed it with an elegant, strikingly original concept. Chancellor is just a beautiful piece of work top to bottom. The amazing tuck is only the "Cover" to this book and what lies within is just as impressive.
The tuck case for Chancellor is just stunning. A nice heavy stock fits the bill for this strong presentation. Featuring embossing, copper foil, black foil, and a seal like no other, one would think just by reading that list that this deck would be a bit much, bordering on gaudy. But the creative way all those elements come together on this deck is flawless. Chancellor's tuck also features a brilliant seal showcasing the "Main" image from the tuck case, accented by a faux Paul Carpenter Signature and the decks serial number and the Encarded logo on the back side.
The cards themselves are just as stunning as the box that houses them. Again, Paul Carpenter shows his attention to the smallest of details in the subtle fashion that's been part of his projects for a while. The faces have a beautiful, but subdued pattern in each corner, just strong enough to be noticed yet not distracting. Printed on Expert Playing Card Co,'s Master Finish, the cards have a nice snap and spring to them and handled exceptionally well. The Ace of Spades has an intricate design that's pulled from the tucks main design element. The intricate line work is also shared in the full sized pips of the other Aces in the deck. The Jokers depict a portrayal of a "Chancellor" like character, one designed in black and the other in a dark red.
If the tuck case wasn't enough, the back design on Chancellors is just amazing. Featuring four metallic inks, the line detail is just inspiring. The back design also has a truly amazing "Shadow Border" that creates the illusion of depth and dimension that has to be seen to be appreciated. The Court cards utilize a standard mirror layout, but with great detail to the wardrobe as well as being presented in full color giving them a more worldly European look and feel.
As mentioned Chancellor was printed by The Expert Playing Card Co. on it's Master Finish, only 1000 decks were produced and once the sale went live, they didn't last very long. I find it hard to write about decks sometimes because I feel like I'm just rambling on about what a great deck it is.
There are those decks we add to our collections that are well designed, well thought out and deserve to be there. Then there are some decks that become cornerstones, I have no problem giving Chancellor that label in my collection. Paul Carpenters talent and hard work are just mind blowing and his constant move into elements and things that haven't been done before make him on my Favorite Designers. Chancellor's selling price in the aftermarket has already swelled a bit from its launch price, but I would put this one on your radar at a price that your budget will allow and don't think twice about pulling the trigger if the opportunity presents itself, you won't be sorry.
So for anything that I couldn't put into words, I'll invite you to take a really good look at the images and everything that Chancellor has to offer. Absolutely stellar work by Encarded and Paul Carpenter.