Hand-drawn designs by Inmaculada Gabaldón with suits based on traditional Spanish ones, published by Naipes de la Cigüeña, 1991
“Silly Symphonies” or “Mickey Mouse Snap” manufactured by Chad Valley Co. Ltd, 1930s
A variety of classic, vintage and antique collectible playing cards from around the world to add depth to your collection View More →
Ormond Printing Co ‘Emerald Isle’ playing cards with photo of Glengarriff Harbour, Co. Cork, 1965
Piatnik Spanish suited “Naipes Barajas Españolas” No.1932 “Marca El Jokey”
Facsimile of archaic 17th century playing cards from Northern Spain
The playing card calls for artistic treatment and although the constrained size imposes some limitations there is an almost bewildering wealth and variety of designs in playing cards and their tuck boxes. The serious player requires design to be unobtrusive so that aesthetic considerations remain in the background. However, with modern manufacturing technology more eye-catching designs are becoming popular as gifts, collectibles and for their attractive appearance. View More →
Humanist pack designed by Melchior Annen (1868-1954) and made by J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse).
Japanese artist Taro Okamoto (1911-1996) was noted for his abstract and avant-garde paintings and sculpture.
Playing cards designed by James Acken evoking Celtic myth in all its beauty, mystery and weirdness...
The games we play mirror the world we live in. Children don’t play card games any more because they prefer computer games, which are the ultimate excitement. Antique and vintage children’s card games offer nostalgic memories of the fashions and social stereotypes of past eras and are a study in social anthropology. View More →
Usually featuring advertising messages and images promoting breweries, cigarettes, chocolate, banks, insurance, sea or air travel and other consumables, advertising playing cards are used in pubs and cafés and are a popular publicity item. Some packs are widely distributed, others are more exclusive. In some cases single cards are collected from inside the advertised product to complete a full set. View More →
Philips 'Arlita' advertising playing cards made by Etabl. Mesmaekers Frères S.A., Belgium, 1925
‘Black & White’ Whisky advertising playing cards manufactured by Nintendo Playing Cards Co Ltd for Dodwell & Co., 1960s
Naipes Inca (Anglo-American type) by C. Della Penna S.A. playing card manufacturer and publisher, Buenos Aires, c.1970
Fortune-telling cards and modern tarot packs have been conjured in a wide variety of conceptions. They involve use of imagination and intuition to assess one’s own thoughts and feelings from the view point of the symbolic images. This is liberating and creative, finding meaning and answers for oneself, rather than having blind faith in religion. Through imagination we can reach the darker regions of the psyche, face our mortality and discover the ethical principles at the heart of religion. View More →
Fortune-Telling Cards, c.1690-1715, made specifically for the purpose of fortune-telling.
Ramses II Tarot deck was published c.1975 in conjunction with a Peruvian occult or esoteric magazine.
Playing cards arrived in Europe the late 14th century and rapidly became a part of popular culture. Antique playing cards are like a visit to the local museum and evoke images of past eras and ways of life and also demonstrate archaic technology or production methods. So what do the oldest surviving playing cards look like? View More →
The so-called Tarocchi di Mantegna is a set of 50 copper-engraved images (c.1465) which were probably a social pastime or instructional series.
The 'Joker' is believed to have been invented by American Euchre players who sometime during the 1860s decided that an extra trump card was required.