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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.

Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950.

Gulliver's Travels is a set of 36 cards comprising nine families of four cards each telling the story of Gulliver's Travels.

The face of each card carries an illustration of a part of the story, and on the back an abridged account of that part of the story. Below the illustration are printed the titles of the four cards comprising that family, the current card's title being printed in contrasting red ink.

The cards can be used for a "Happy Families" game, though the different wording on the backs of each card do allow for a fair amount of cheating!

Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950 Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950 Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950

Above: Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, imported and distributed in UK by Benno Products, 1950s. The over sized cards are housed in a two-part telescopic box. 36 cards + rules in box.