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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.

Cyprus Souvenir

Cyprus souvenir playing cards showing scenes alluding to ancient history and myths

Cyprus Souvenir playing cards

Cyprus is a small island in the Mediterranean with a vast amount of history. In mythology, Cyprus was the birthplace of the Ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, who sprang from the sea foam near its shores. Cyprus is also home to what may be the world’s oldest wine. The island has a long and fascinating history where idols, ruins and temples, graves and goddesses are the fabric of everyday life.

Cyprus souvenir playing cards

Above: Cyprus souvenir playing cards showing scenes alluding to ancient history and myths. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.