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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

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 →


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 →

Spider Solitaire Blog Post

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 26, 2017 at 01:19pm

Spider Solitaire is a free web site offering new versions of the classic solitaire card game Read more →

Counties of England 4th Series

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 25, 2017 at 10:35am

Jaques' Counties of England card game, 4th Series (Southern Counties), c.1910. Read more →

XVII Century Engraved Animal Cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 23, 2017 at 03:33pm

French suited German engraved cards c1610 to 1650 Read more →

Banana Leaf Cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 22, 2017 at 02:13pm

English Standard pack hand drawn & coloured on banana leaf, c.1820. Read more →

Tô Tôm №1204

Posted by Simon Wintle •  October 21, 2017 at 12:59pm

Tô Tôm is played with a 120-card Chinese-style deck. Read more →

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 →

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