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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

August der Starke

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 28, 2017 at 10:15am

‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985. Read more →

Alcatel

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 27, 2017 at 11:43am

Alcatel playing cards published by Éditions Dusserre, c.1970s Read more →

Lapin Brothers

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 25, 2017 at 08:43pm

Reprint of Lapin’s Historical Belarusian playing cards. Read more →

Bechstein design

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 21, 2017 at 12:36pm

Bechstein design reprinted by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken AG former Schneider & Co., c1925. Read more →

Qajar Dynasty playing cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 13, 2017 at 11:43am

Qajar Dynasty playing cards, Iran, 19th century. Read more →

Jeu des Quatre Saisons de l’An II

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 12, 2017 at 07:24pm

“Jeu des Quatre Saisons de l’An II” facsimile of French Revolution deck originally published by J. B. Debeine (Reims) 1793. Read more →

Jeu des Drapeaux c.1816

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 11, 2017 at 01:51pm

“Jeu des Drapeaux” commemorating Napoleon’s greatest battles, c.1816 Read more →

Mongolian Mask Dancing

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 10, 2017 at 03:00pm

Mongolian Religious Mask Dancing playing cards, c.2010 Read more →

Provinces de France

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 10, 2017 at 12:01pm

Jeu des Provinces de France published by Éditions Dusserre, 1979. Read more →

Alchimistenspiel

Posted by Simon Wintle •  September 08, 2017 at 02:37pm

Alchimistenspiel - Jeu des Alchimistes designed by Elfriede Weidenhaus, 1967 Read more →

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