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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 have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. The most interesting aspect is the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” aspect of how things have changed.

Latest Articles

Clifford Toys

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 10, 2016 at 02:00pm

Clifford Toys is a brand name of F. Levy & Co., Ltd, London, sellers of toys and fancy goods Read more →

Héron French tarot

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 04, 2016 at 12:58pm

French edition of the ‘Bourgeois’ Tarot by Héron Read more →

Habemus Boda, 2004

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 02, 2016 at 11:48am

“Habemus Boda” deck celebrating the royal wedding of Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia of Spain with cartoons by Sir Cámara Read more →

C.L. Wüst, 1811 - 1927

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 01, 2016 at 01:30pm

SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons. Read more →

Baraja PEPLVM

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 01, 2016 at 10:53am

Baraja PEPLVM features cartoons by Ortuño of famous actors and actresses in roles from epic Roman movies Read more →

Cartes Comiques du Colonel Atthalin

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 31, 2016 at 08:30pm

“Jeu de cartes comiques” transformation cards designed by Louis Atthalin (1784-1856) and published in 1817 Read more →

Tarot des Pompiers de Paris

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 31, 2016 at 06:06pm

Tarot des Pompiers de Paris, a French Fire Brigade tribute tarot deck! Read more →

Hesslers Enhanced Blog Post

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 28, 2016 at 10:46am

Matt Hessler’s “Enhanced” four-colour playing cards Read more →

Royal Dutch Mail

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 24, 2016 at 11:02am

Elegant “Nieuw Neerlandia” pattern designed by M.A. Koekkoek and produced by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, c.1930s Read more →

Salzburger Pattern

Posted by Simon Wintle •  January 20, 2016 at 05:54pm

Salzburger pattern by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna Read more →

Editor’s Picks

Playing cards have enormous educational value, with a long history and many diverse types and graphical styles from around the world... View More →

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