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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

New Zealand Souvenir

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 19, 2019 at 12:29pm

Souvenir from New Zealand by Croxley (John Dickinson) c.1950. Read more →

The Four Worlds

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 12, 2019 at 11:50am

The Four Worlds playing cards by artist Aleksey Zhiryakov in the stylistic traditions of Palekh, 2018. Read more →

Billabong playing cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 10, 2019 at 12:34pm

Billabong Dual Deck by Hudson Industries, 1950s. Read more →

Chinese Jokers Blog Post

Posted by Matt Probert •  March 03, 2019 at 12:02pm

Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world. Read more →

Gunfighters

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 20, 2019 at 09:29am

Gunfighters playing cards from the Wild West Series by SPCC, 2018. Read more →

Timothy Curtis Art Blog Post

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 12, 2019 at 07:31am

Timothy Curtis Art custom Bicycle playing cards, 2018. Read more →

Atouts de la Vie

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 08, 2019 at 11:20am

“Atouts de la Vie” wartime card game created by Madame Lucien Willemetz, c.1940. Read more →

Prisoners of War

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 06, 2019 at 10:03am

Hand-made playing cards by French prisoners of war in Porchester Castle, Hampshire, c.1796. Read more →

Pantheon or Heathen Mythology

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 31, 2018 at 10:01am

Pantheon or Heathen Mythology cards for instruction of youth, c.1770. Read more →

Transformation Cards for Christmas

Posted by Simon Wintle •  December 19, 2018 at 11:47am

Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870. Read more →

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