The games we play mirror the world we live in. Children don’t play card games any more because they prefer computer games, which are the ultimate excitement. Antique and vintage children’s card games offer nostalgic memories of the fashions and social stereotypes of past eras.
The “Boffie” Kwartetspel was designed by Huibert Vet and published by Albert Heijn in 1936
Alice in Wonderland card game based on original designs by Sir John Tenniel published by Thomas De la Rue & Co. Ltd, c.1900
Animal Grab card game by Thomas De La Rue & Co., 110 Bunhill Row, London. Long before our awareness of endangered species or environmental activism became topical issues, these Victorian playing cards for children foster awareness of farmyard and countryside animals, inviting players to mimic the animals' characteristic calls.
The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.
“Bargains” was designed by George Lambert for C. W. Faulkner & Co in c.1900
Belisha, published by Castell Brothers Ltd (Pepys Games) in 1937, was produced with a desire to make a helpful contribution to the national Safety First campaign.
The Birkel company has produced several promotional “Schwarzer Peter” packs over the years and this one is themed on the circus.
Black Peter card deck for children printed in Riga during World War II, believed to have been designed by a Latvian artist.
“Brighter Families” promotional card game for Cosmos Lamps (Metrovick), 1930
British Towns Card Game by Pepys Games (Castell Brothers Limited).
C. W. Faulkner & Co Ltd, London, an important publisher of games, pictorial souvenirs, children’s books, and postcards
Children's games are distinct from ordinary playing cards, with their most obvious difference being the lack of any court cards or suit marks.
Carreras Ltd miniature playing cards and dominoes, 1929
A “Questions & Answers” family game from France produced by Imagerie Pellerin.
A Victorian card game telling a story of a victim being ensnared in a trap, being caught, and finally escaping.
Chad Valley Happy Families, 1914
This “Jeu de Familles” from the 1960s designed by Jean Bachès promotes Chambord glassware.
Change for a Shilling card game by Geo. Wright & Co., London, 1930s
Cheery Families card game designed by Richard Doyle and printed by De La Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1890
Mini-Poker miniature playing cards made in China.
Miniature children's playing cards depicting popular heroes and celebrities on the backs, Montevideo, c.1928
Chitrashala Press produced some charming children's pictorial alphabet cards for early learning purposes in the 1940s.
Animals Quartet playing cards printed for Cigarrillos El Figaro, Peru, early 1900s
“Cine Manual” by Antonio Vercher Coll (1900-1934) and published by Reclamos Cimadevilla, Valencia, c.1927
Jaques’ Counties of England card game
The Cow and Gate Happy Family game was issued around 1928 to promote nutrition products
Juegos de Cartas Cromy card games made in Argentina 1983-1995
cards from a 40-card children's "Questions and Answers" game. The Spanish suit signs have been changed to tambourines, yo-yos, swords and skittles. Printed lithographically in Cuba, c.1930.
Dartex, the Thrilling New Card Game of Skill (1938) based on the traditional pub game where darts are thrown at a circular target. The card game version contains a total of 52 cards (38 showing a dart board + 14 special cards) which act as the throws and, just as in the real game, good mental arithmetic is required.
“Das Lustige Familien Quartett” published by Eugen Schmidt K.G., Dresden, c.1930s
“Der Lohn des Fleisses”, a children's card game designed by Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)
Disney collectable cards showing scenes from Disney animated movies, printed in Poland by KZWP-Trefl, 2003
Disney playing cards from Peru
District Messengers were uniformed young men wearing little pill-box hats and mounted on bicycles who fulfilled urgent tasks and were paid by the mile
Dondorf no.332: ‘Jeu des Fleurs’ French edition
A coat-of-arms quartet game published by B. Dondorf, c.1900
French language edition of a children's quartet game published by B. Dondorf, c.1900, consisting of 40 amusing illustrations of birds and animals with humorous captions.
First published in c.1870, children are presented in these miniature Patience cards disguised as Kings, Queens and Jacks. The Kings' crowns are slightly over-sized for their heads and the children are wearing false beards.
“Drover’s Dilemma” - a card game from Australia, 1984
El Negrito Pedro, children’s card game, Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.1950s
El Reloj card game by Imprenta Lecaros, Lima, Peru, c.1920
“Fairyland Snap” designed by A. E. Kennedy and published by C. W. Faulkner & Co., c.1930
Jeu des 7 Familles Provinciales printed by Nisse, Croix-Lille, c.1930
The Famous Five Card Game by Enid Blyton
“Farmyard Snap” designed by A. E. Kennedy and published by C. W. Faulkner & Co., c.1930
C. W. Faulkner’s “Busy Families”, c.1903
Feardiadh at the Ford jig-saw book with illustration by Kathleen Ennis, c.1940
Ferguson Happy Families card game was produced by Ferguson Electronics and printed by John Waddington Ltd in c.1960.
“Fipps der Affe“ (Fipps the Ape) quartet game with cartoons by Wilhelm Busch published by Bielefelder Spielkarten GmbH, c.1960
The beautiful artwork in Dondorf's “Fruits et Légumes” quartet game reminds us of the benefits of natural food.