The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published July 03, 1996 Updated May 12, 2022

Art in Playing Cards, page 2



Cards from the Arabic Mamluk pack (c.1520) have closely decorated, embroidered or ?enamelled? surfaces. Although the underlying design is very simple, a lot of artistic work has been applied to the card faces.

Pattern is not an essential thing, but an ornamentation of the surface. Occasionally, designs originating with one technique or medium were transposed into another. For example, point lace patterns might be transposed to embroidery, painting to engraving; sculpture might imitate metalwork or indeed architecture and then be transposed onto the flat surfaces of illuminated manuscripts or playing cards.



By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.

Leave a Reply