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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first became a part of popular culture, perhaps seen as a miniature model of the universe. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. Their popularity is undoubtedy due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Latest Articles

Romance Español

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 13, 2017 at 03:46pm

“Romance Español” designed by Carlos Sáenz de Tejada and published by Heraclio Fournier in various editions since 1951. Read more →

Baraja “Neoclásica”, Madrid, 1810

Posted by Adam Wintle •  August 13, 2017 at 10:07am

Baraja “Neoclásica” engraved by José Martínez de Castro, first published by Clemente Roxas, Madrid, 1810. Read more →

Baraja Mitológica

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 12, 2017 at 12:50pm

“Baraja Mitológica” was first published in Madrid in c.1815 by Josef Monjardín from engravings by José Martínez de Castro. Read more →

Antike Götter

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 11, 2017 at 08:30pm

“Antike Götter” - facsimile of antique playing cards originally manufactured by C. A. Müller, Berlin, 1830. Read more →


Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 08, 2017 at 06:08pm

“Europe” designed by Teodoro N. Miciano and printed by Heraclio Fournier in 1962, portraying XIV century European fashions. Read more →

Altenburger Bauerntrachten

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 07, 2017 at 08:26pm

“Altenburger Bauerntrachten” commemorating 150 years of playing cards from Altenburg, designed by Andreas Wachter, 1982 Read more →

African Art

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 06, 2017 at 09:16pm

“African Art” Playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994 Read more →

Little Demons

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 05, 2017 at 09:35pm

“Little Demons” playing cards illustrated by Wayne Anderson, c.1970 Read more →

Schwäbisch Hall

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 05, 2017 at 01:28pm

Schwäbisch Hall building society publicity deck designed by Alex Kardas, c.1975. Read more →


Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 03, 2017 at 07:18pm

Humorous pharmaceutical deck made by Antoine van Genechten for Bayer, c.1963. Read more →

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