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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

East African Playing Cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  April 11, 2017 at 06:56pm

East African Playing Cards by Heraclio Fournier S.A., 1957 Read more →


Posted by Simon Wintle •  April 08, 2017 at 11:16am

Chérie No 7022 designed by Hans & Louise Neupert, nice vibrant artwork, swinging 60s Read more →

The Summer Palace

Posted by Simon Wintle •  April 07, 2017 at 04:44pm

The Summer Palace, Beijing, China, c.1998 Read more →

Adelaide Casino

Posted by Simon Wintle •  April 06, 2017 at 07:46pm

Adelaide Casino by Spicers Paper Ltd, 1987 Read more →

Biermans Genoese pattern

Posted by Simon Wintle •  April 06, 2017 at 12:15pm

Biermans Genoese pattern for Clayson agricultural machinery, late 1960s Read more →

The Blue Train (Bloutrein)

Posted by Simon Wintle •  April 04, 2017 at 05:18pm

“The Blue Train” playing cards from the luxury train service in South Africa. Read more →

Mayall Press Art Studies

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 22, 2017 at 09:02pm

Photographic playing cards - each face having an "art study" of a female nude, Mayall Press, Stockwell, London, c.1946. Read more →

Perspectives on Tarot

Posted by Adam Wintle •  March 21, 2017 at 05:27pm

Tarot, originally a 15th century card game, has evolved into a form of personal mysticism and spirituality. Read more →

Norway’s Beauty Spots

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 20, 2017 at 10:36am

Views of Norway’s Beauty Spots Souvenir playing cards published by Nyborg in collaboration with Oslo Travel Association, 1950s. Read more →

Georg Kapfler

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 13, 2017 at 05:21pm

Antique deck of old Bohemian playing cards of the German type manufactured by Georg Kapfler and dated 1611. Read more →

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