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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

Columbian Exposition Souvenir

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 24, 2017 at 11:11am

Columbian Exposition Souvenir playing cards, G.W. Clark, Chicago, 1893. Read more →

Detmold Advertising Backs

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 23, 2017 at 04:27pm

Advertising backs by William Detmold Ltd (Australia) c.1910-1920s Read more →

Piatnik No.97

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 23, 2017 at 11:51am

Non-standard French-suited cards published by Ferd Piatnik & Sõhne, Vienna, c.1940s Read more →

Baraja Carlos IV by Félix Solesio, 1800

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 15, 2017 at 08:23am

Baraja Carlos IV, Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800 Read more →

Moviestars

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 12, 2017 at 03:59pm

Moviestars from the golden age of cinema by Offason AB of Sweden, c.2000s Read more →

Anonymous Spanish Suited pack, c.1760

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 09, 2017 at 08:49am

Anonymous archaic Spanish Suited pack, c.1760 Read more →

Art Nouveau

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 05, 2017 at 11:15am

Elegant gold-printed playing cards in Jugendstil style designed by Otto Benz for Renault, 1987 Read more →

Geographical Playing Cards, c.1682

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 03, 2017 at 12:16pm

Geographical playing cards sold by Henry Brome, second edition, c.1682. Read more →

On Spec

Posted by Simon Wintle •  November 02, 2017 at 07:18pm

“On Spec” is a round game based on selling stocks and shares, published by John Jaques & Son, c.1900. Read more →

Lakeland

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 30, 2017 at 11:42am

Lakeland playing cards by Stuart Lawrence depicting famous characters & views of England’s Lake District, c.1988. Read more →

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