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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

Jeu de la Géographie

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 18, 2017 at 12:42pm

“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644. Read more →

Barribal patience

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 17, 2017 at 11:12am

Waddington’s Patience Cards from the Barribal Series, c.1929. Read more →

Austrian Wine

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 16, 2017 at 12:18pm

Skat deck for Austria’s excellent wines, Österreichischer Weinwirtschaftsfonds, c.1965 Read more →

Lend Me Five Shillings

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 14, 2017 at 05:37pm

Lend Me Five Shillings; or, Her Majesty's Privy Purse by John Jaques & Son, c.1875 Read more →

Goyesca

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 12, 2017 at 03:06pm

Baraja ‘Goyesca’ facsimile of original deck published in Madrid by Clemente de Roxas, 1814. Read more →

Venezuela Baraja Turística

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 11, 2017 at 10:28am

Venezuela Souvenir deck by Heraclio Fournier, c.1980s. Read more →

Mordillo Skat

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 09, 2017 at 05:59pm

Mordillo Skat designed by Guillermo Mordillo, c.1979 Read more →

Far East

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 09, 2017 at 12:17pm

Far East playing cards with designs by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano, c.1980 Read more →

Papua New Guinea

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 29, 2017 at 04:03pm

Souvenir playing cards from the culturally diverse southwestern Pacific island of Papua New Guinea. Read more →

Loewe

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 28, 2017 at 02:17pm

Deck designed by J. L. Picardo for Loewe, 1959. Read more →

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