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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

Hendrick’s Gin

Posted by Simon Wintle •  May 03, 2019 at 10:53am

Nice advertising deck for Hendrick’s Gin, c.2015. Read more →


Posted by Simon Wintle •  April 18, 2019 at 10:08am

Campaign deck for Greenpeace with drawings of penguins, seals, whales and dolphins. Read more →

Tyrolean Playing Cards

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 25, 2019 at 11:20am

Facsimile of patriotic 1878 Tyrolean playing cards published by Piatnik in 1992. Read more →

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 24, 2019 at 09:59am

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005. Read more →

Views of New Zealand

Posted by Simon Wintle •  March 22, 2019 at 02:08pm

Views of New Zealand published by G.B.Scott Souvenirs, Auckland, c.1960. Read more →

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 →


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

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

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