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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

Pedro Varangot, 1786

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 11, 2017 at 10:26am

Archaic Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly by Pedro Varangot in 1786. Read more →

Navarra Pattern, 1682

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 11, 2017 at 10:00am

Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly in 1682. Read more →

Navarra Pattern, 1793

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 11, 2017 at 10:00am

Navarra pattern by an unknown cardmaker with initials I. I., 1793. Read more →

Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 09, 2017 at 07:39pm

Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1760 Read more →

Hermanos Solesi

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 08, 2017 at 10:17am

“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c. Read more →

Bourgeois Tarot by Piatnik 1987

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 04, 2017 at 03:36pm

Piatnik’s ‘Bourgeois Tarot’ in a version published in 1987 with nice quality images, especially the double-ended trump cards. Read more →

V. F. Solesio Tarot

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 30, 2017 at 05:00pm

V. F. Solesio Tarot, Genoa, mid-late 19th century Read more →

Illustrated Playing Cards, c.1740

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 30, 2017 at 10:30am

Illustrated playing cards featuring comical engravings and rhymes about saints, c.1740. Read more →

Wüst Lenormand deck, c.1860

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 29, 2017 at 02:32pm

Wüst Lenormand deck, c.1860 Read more →

Karl Gerich No.22: “Rouennais”

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 27, 2017 at 05:08pm

Karl Gerich’s hand-made design No.22: “Rouennais”, Victoria P.C.C, Bath (UK), 1990. Read more →

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