Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. 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. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Latest Articles

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 09, 2021 at 08:52pm

Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989. Read more →

Gambling and Vice in the Middle Ages Blog Post

Posted by Simon Wintle •  February 09, 2021 at 12:02pm

Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern Read more →

Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 08, 2021 at 11:39am

Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America by Heraclio Fournier, 1992. Read more →

Pato Donald

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 07, 2021 at 08:08pm

Donald Duck card game © Walt Disney Productions, by Naipes Fournier, 1984. Read more →

Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 07, 2021 at 07:28pm

‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979. Read more →

The Bristol Pack

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 07, 2021 at 03:00pm

The Bristol Pack, an exhibition of playing cards designed by Bristol artists, 2005. Read more →

Irish Legendary

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 06, 2021 at 12:15pm

Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990. Read more →

Jeu de Quaternes ‘Rizá’

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 05, 2021 at 07:57pm

Jeu de Quaternes ‘Rizá’ Read more →

“Deck with French suits”

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 05, 2021 at 05:32pm

A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid. Read more →

Zooloo Misfitz

Posted by Rex Pitts •  February 04, 2021 at 07:19pm

Zooloo Misfitz card game designed by George Lambert for C.W. Faulkner & Co, c.1907. Read more →

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