Rick Davidson's “Origins” playing cards is an inspired, present-day re-design of a celebrated medieval playing card pattern, one which has become universal the world over... that is, the original design for our standard Anglo-American deck.
Since the late 14th century playing cards were produced by migrant craftsmen and artisans, who often practised several trades to earn a living. During the 15th and 16th centuries cards made in France were imported to England and became established as a standard pattern. Rick spent many hours researching these designs and sourced original examples from museums. With the benefit of modern technology Rick has reinvented the traditional designs in a clean, modern revision of the historic artwork. See: originscards.com→
Rick's background is from a family of artists. “I have always thought today's card art was far from beautiful and I decided to explore how that art managed to become the standard.” We tend to agree, as the quality of playing card designs often deteriorates over time. Rick has produced an interesting interpretation of the figures, keeping the historical postures. We'd like to see a version with the traditional colours for English cards.
Member since February 01, 1996View 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.
Publicity items for a group of entertainers, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 1911.
Cards made by John Waddington Ltd. for the Madras Club, Chennai (formerly Madras), India, c.1930.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
54 different personalities from the city of Inverness published by the Highland Hospice.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme covers from 1956 to 2016 published by Winning Moves UK Ltd.
Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.
The Encarded First Edition is a limited edition of 2,500 designed by Paul Carpenter and manufactured by the Expert Playing Card Company.
Cards slanted to the right, issued to mark George W. Bush’s second term of office.
Celebrating the work of Andreas Vesalius in the quincentenary year of his birth.
Playing cards inspired by mysterious symbolism of secret societies as well as a tribute to the National Playing Card Co.
Cyberpunk playing cards inspired by advanced science and technology in an urban dystopian future. Designed by Ivan Fortunov, 2021.
Sirocco, nautical themed playing cards by Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Co. and designed by Nathan Oser, 2020.
Monarchs luxury playing cards by Theory11, featured in the film Now You See Me.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
Great Britains’s Olympic gold medallists from 1964 to 2004 published by the British Olympic Association.
Celebration of the work of David Kindersley, stone letter-carver and typeface designer. Published by the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge, UK, 2015.
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Rules and regulations that guided prison life in America’s most notorious prison.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
Pack celebrating the rugby world champions of 2003. Produced by MMcardz.
A recreated of the original 1876, No. 18, Triplicate deck by A. Dougherty by Michael Scott in 2014.
Triangle Playing Cards by Michael Scott.
Luxury packs of cards have been produced since the 15th century, a trend that is very popular among collectors today.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
Hall & Son
Two Notched Construction Card Sets by Shackman & Co, N.Y. 1970s.
Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.
In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.
Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.
PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History
This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Spyscape espionage, surveillance and cryptography themed playing cards, 2018.
Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith
We are deeply saddened by news of the passing of Anthony Rex Pitts (1940-2021).
Video by Art of Impossible. In this video you will get a short overview of the most important historical facts about playing cards and their history.