Naipes Estelares playing cards manufactured by Luis A. Fourvel y Cia., Buenos Aires, early 1950s
Whilst the titles of the cards are in Italian, the Hebrew and Sanskrit letters on the Trump cards denote, respectively, associations with the Cabbala and Vedic metaphysics.
The combination of shapes and colours in these playing cards creates a vibrant and eye-catching surreal effect.
The Basler Fasnachts deck is designed each year by a different local artist.
In this version an explanatory verse is printed at the top of each card.
A new ‘medieval look’ is intended to suggest the power and virtue of the German character. The Kings lead the church and the army, protecting the empire; the noble Queens represent the power of love, domestic virtues and art; the Jacks portray chivalry, hunting, poetry and music.
Although not historically accurate this example is subtitled “Stuart period”, with rich costumes for the Kings who resemble little emperors; luxurious accessories for the Queens and flamboyant Jacks all creating associations with an imaginary period sometime before the French Revolution.
Based on the standard French ‘Paris’ pattern, Dalí composed his playing card figures out of geometric shapes, like a surrealist tapestry, but retaining the traditional aspects of playing card design.
Philibert "Les Mousquetaires" Playing Cards, designed by Albert Dubout (1905-1976).
The designs are a meld between the standard international pattern and German-style French-suited cards. Elements from various other standard patterns can be detected. This attempt to create a new standard pattern unfortunately was not a success.
The courts are characters from Wagner's opera “The Ring of the Nibelungs”, beautifully etched and hand coloured. Each character is named in a cursive script along each side of the card.
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.
Gibson originally took over the business of Blanchard in 1769. Gibson & Hunt operated briefly (1801-1803) and were followed successively by Hunt & Son (1804-1821), Hunt & Sons (1821-1840), Hall (& Son), Hall & Bancks and finally Bancks Brothers (1841-89).
Playing cards designed by artist Larisa Kovalass-Kovalevska on the theme of the Latvian folk epic “Lāčplēsis”.
The London College of Printing '52 Club' Designers and Artists playing cards, 1984
Carreras Fortune Telling Cards, 1926
Naipes Argentinos 'La Partida' y 'Aparcero' published by Obsequios Empresarios Argentinos, Santa Fe
“Cartes Lenormand” published by H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, London, printed in Germany by B. Dondorf, 1920s.
Fortune Telling Cards - wondrous scientific divination poker cards
In ‘Patia Te Pere - The Big Deal’, Joan Gragg presents a first edition series of 1000 decks in which the characters, themes and patterns from traditional playing cards are replaced by Cook Islands cultural, environmental and societal icons.
Buena Suerte Cartomancy cards published by Difusora S.A., Argentina, c.1975
Buena Suerte Cartomancy leaflet
Mlle Lenormand Cartomancy deck made by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken, Stralsund, c.1890
A “Questions & Answers” family game from France produced by Imagerie Pellerin.
Victory deck commemorating the Liberation war by Friedrich Gotthelf Baumgärtner, Leipzig, 1815
Fortune Telling Deck by Industrie Comptoir, Leipzig c.1818.
Livre du Destin / The Book of Fate, c.1900, entire deck (32 cards)
Livre du Destin or Book of Fate, printed by B.P.Grimaud, Paris, c.1900. During the the nineteenth century various types of fortune-telling, oracle, Lenormand, sybil and destiny cards became popular and many decks such as the ones shown here were published in Paris.
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.
Enid Blyton's Noddy Happy Families was published in 1955 by Sampson Low, 25 Gilbert Street, London W.1., manufactured in Great Britain.
Circular playing cards in a round tin titled: Sutherland's Circular Coon Cards published by Hartley Bros Pty Ltd, Australia, late 19th century.
A series of four decks designed by John Littleboy. The pip cards in each deck have been transformed from the standard positions into a sequence of images which tell a story.
Pack of Dogs. Every card tells a story...
Jean Picart le Doux playing cards, issued in 1957 to celebrate the company's 125th anniversary, featuring designs carried out in richly toned colourings typical of tapestries.
Spanish-suited Aluette pack with 'FABRICANDO IN MADRID' printed on the Two of Swords and the legend Lequart - Paris printed in the top left corners of the court cards.
Double advertising pack made by Cartográfica Industrial for Refrigeração Parana S.A. The extra card contains an insignia with the legend 'CARTAL'.
The New York Consolidated Card Company was formed in 1871 by the merging of Lawrence & Cohen, Samuel Hart & Co and John J. Levy.
Samuel Hart was a prolific manufacturer of playing cards who commenced business sometime around 1845 in Philadelphia. He had previously worked for L.I. Cohen.
Hijos de José Garcia Taboadela was a book-seller who also published this charming pack of lovers' fortune telling cards in 1871
The 72 Names Cards based on the Kabbalistic "72 Names of God" and the metaphysical artwork of Orna Ben-Shoshan, Raanana, Israel.
Cheery Families card game designed by Richard Doyle and printed by De La Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1890
In 1851 the games manufacturer John Jaques of London (founded in 1795) commissioned a set of drawings from John Tenniel, later Sir John, the chief cartoonist of Punch, for their new game of Happy Families.
Happy Families is probably one of the most popular card games ever invented, with educational benefits relating to sorting and matching of sets, as well as early literacy and elementary genealogy, flowers or bird identification, etc.
Vic Joc de Cartes, happy families quartet game, 1990
Joker S.A.I.C. produce a range including children's card games, tarot cards and advertising decks, alongside their standard Spanish-suited and Anglo-American playing cards.
The designs of these fortune-telling cards are largely taken from nineteenth century Austrian "Rural Scenes" Tarock cards.
CROMY card games Argentina - AIRWOLF
Asociart Insurance promotional playing cards, Argentina, 2000