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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

Back to the USSR

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 26, 2016 at 07:49pm

Back to the USSR deck featuring communist party leaders and politicians, c.1995 Read more →

Glorious Russia

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 25, 2016 at 08:36pm

‘Glorious Russia’ playing cards made in France by Grimaud, c.1995 Read more →

European Naval Powers

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 23, 2016 at 02:36pm

“XVI Century European Naval Powers” deck illustrated by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano and produced by Heraclio Fournier in 1981 Read more →

Ancient Civilisations

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 23, 2016 at 10:53am

Ancient Civilisations playing cards designed by Celedonio Perellón, produced by Heraclio Fournier, 1973 Read more →

Cartes de Luxe (1877) facsimile

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 19, 2016 at 03:30pm

‘Cartes de Luxe’ first published by Biermans in 1877 was reproduced in facsimile by Amstel Beer in c.1980. Read more →

Egypt Souvenir

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 18, 2016 at 06:19am

Souvenir from Egypt - the home of lovely memories - 54 colour photos, c.1980 Read more →

Genever Giraf

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 17, 2016 at 10:07am

Dutch pattern advertising deck for Genever Giraf made by Van Genechten in the 1950s. Read more →

Piket Fijne Speelkaarten, c.1925-30

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 16, 2016 at 04:55pm

‘Piket Fijne Speelkaarten’ by La Turnhoutoise, c.1925-30. Read more →

BG Bouw Building Company

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 16, 2016 at 12:51pm

BG Bouw Dutch Building Company publicity deck manufactured by Carta Mundi, c.1980. Read more →

Max Velthuijs for KLM

Posted by Simon Wintle •  August 15, 2016 at 05:09pm

Playing cards designed by Max Velthuijs for KLM airlines first published c.1964 Read more →

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