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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.

Servicio de Hidrografía Naval

125th anniversary of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service, 2004.

Spanish-suited pack commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Argentine “Servicio de Hidrografía Naval” (Naval Hydrographic Service, Ministry of Defense), 2004. The non-standard suit symbols are buttons, swords, cleats & bells. The court cards illustrate lighthouses and oceanographic/hydrographic vessels from the Argentinean Navy.

“Servicio de Hidrografía Naval” (Naval Hydrographic Service)
125th anniversary of the Argentinian “Servicio de Hidrografía Naval” (Naval Hydrographic Service), 2004 125th anniversary of the Argentinian “Servicio de Hidrografía Naval” (Naval Hydrographic Service), 2004 125th anniversary of the Argentinian “Servicio de Hidrografía Naval” (Naval Hydrographic Service), 2004

Above: special deck commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Argentinian “Servicio de Hidrografía Naval” (Naval Hydrographic Service), printed by the printmaking department of the Servicio de Hidrografía Naval, 2004. 48 cards + 2 jokers.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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