Mercury ‘One-2-One Situations’ playing cards published by Mercury Communications.
Naipes Globalstar TE.SA.M. Telefonía Satelital playing cards, manufactured by Gráfica 2001.
Electrical Mah Jong was produced by De La Rue for The Western Electric Company Ltd in 1924 for the Wembley Exhibition.
Astronaut card game published by Pepys Series (Castell Bros) celebrating the arrival of space travel, 1960s
Editorial Gráfica Flores S.A. were manufacturers of playing cards and card games around c.1970-90.
Charles Hodges produced engraved geographical and astronomical decks, London, c.1827-30.
Tarot, originally a 15th century card game, has evolved into a form of personal mysticism and spirituality.
A deck of cards to raise awareness of the Irish Hospice Foundation.
The unprinted backs of playing cards have led people to use them for secondary purposes such as memorandum slips, bibliographic index cards, for declarations of love, rendezvous notes, emergency money, visiting cards and so on.
The Bristol Pack, an exhibition of playing cards designed by Bristol artists, 2005.
Hodges’ pack dealing with astronomy had numeral cards carrying diagrams of constellations and their pictorial representations.
“Under the Sea” transformation playing cards, published in 2005 to raise money for the Marine Stewardship Council, an environmental charity which promotes sustainable fishing practices.
Deck featuring “18 Rock ‘n’ Pop” Superstars portrayed on the court cards and jokers by eight of Britain’s leading illustrators.
“Art for the Earth” Transformation Deck published by Andrew Jones Art for Friends of the Earth, c.1990.
National Geographic: “Weird But True” kids fun fact playing cards, 2014.
Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.
Circular playing cards in a round tin titled: Sutherland's Circular Coon Cards published by Hartley Bros Pty Ltd, Australia, late 19th century.
Primitive Latin suited pack, possibly of Swiss or German origin for export to Spain, dated by paper analysis as early XV century, which makes this one of the earliest known surviving packs of playing cards.
Probably originating in Spain in the seventeenth century or even earlier, this pattern became strongly established by the Catalan cardmakers Rotxotxo of Barcelona.
10 cards from a pack of later Portuguese ‘Dragon’ type cards from c.1860, with the Maid of batons about to club a dog.
Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.
Children's games are distinct from ordinary playing cards, with their most obvious difference being the lack of any court cards or suit marks.
Dondorf's Luxus-Spielkarte “Vier-Erdteile” (“Four Continents”) was first published in c.1870 and has been re-published in several editions, variations and formats since then.
First published in c.1870, children are presented in these miniature Patience cards disguised as Kings, Queens and Jacks. The Kings' crowns are slightly over-sized for their heads and the children are wearing false beards.
"Monumentos de España" souvenir playing cards manufactured by Heraclio Fournier, S.A., Vitoria (Spain), c.1955.
Promotional deck for Honeywell Computers by Brown & Bigelow c.1968 with the cards marked in binary notation
Two similar but fascinatingly different hand-drawn transformation decks by the same artist, c.1875
Attractive deck by the Portuguese maker Maillard, c.1885 with scenic aces and German-style courts
The Fournier catalogue is a very useful reference book, full of pictures of cards from all over the world, but especially Europe. Unfortunately, there are quite a few mistakes and unlikely assumptions in it.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Marseille Tarot cards by Charles Cheminade of Grenoble, France, early 18th century.
This page continues the presentation of examples of the major English cardmakers of the 19th century.
A pack of 54 playing-cards for fortune-telling each card containing a number of zodiacal, classical and modern images with a miniature card of the conventional type at top left and a letter of the alphabet at top right.
Snapshots, a Missionary Card Game depicting people from different cultural contexts engaged in their traditional ways of life...
Mother Goose’s Party, or Merry Game of Old Maid, McLoughlin Bros., Inc., USA, 1887.
The History of English Playing Cards dates probably from the mid 15th century, the first documentary evidence of their existence in this country occurring in an Act of Parliament which prohibited the import of foreign cards.
The “Help Yourself” Society was formed in 1927 to run fundraising activities for hospitals.
The Eglantine Table, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, elaborately inlaid with marquetry depicting musical instruments, playing-cards, games and heraldic references.
Cards were first imported to Central America from Spain, although local production has always existed. Today El Salvador has some local production of playing cards, which are often of rudimentary quality.
Woodpecker Press is believed to have started up in 1987 as a spin-off from the closure of Astra Games.
Playing cards had been introduced to the Americas with explorers such as Columbus or Cortés, whose fellow countrymen were keen gamblers. Cards were imported from Spain since the 16th century. Local production usually imitated Spanish cards.
Jaques’ Illustrated Proverbs, c.1870. The complete proverb is printed along the top of each card in the set.
The manufacture of the pasteboard used for playing cards contains a number of interesting processes including mingling, pasting and drying.
Cow and Gate Happy Family game was issued around 1928 to promote nutrition products.
Victorian card game with imaginatively designed letters which spell the name of an animal, with one card representing the animal spelt.
‘Stage’ card game © 1904 C. M. Clark Publishing Co. Boston, Mass. with portraits of popular actors and actresses.
“Characters from Charles Dickens” card game published by Jaques & Son, c.1880.
“Country Craftsmen” Happy Families with illustrations by Mandy Hall, published for the National Trust by Dinosaur Publications Ltd, 1978.
“Cotswold Happy Families” created by Mary Gardiner and illustrated by Chris Rhodes, printed by Willow Press, 1997.
Merry Andrews - the very Happy Families, published by Scott & Turner Ltd, 1936.
Case Study: using detective work to identify and date a pack discovered in charity shop.
Playing cards were traditionally sold inside paper wrappers, which were usually thrown away.
Early engravers and print makers made devotional images for pilgrims and people who could not afford paintings or books. Many of these craftsmen turned their hand to manufacturing playing cards to earn extra income. Stock images from the repertoire of devotional imagery might also de adapted to serve as playing card symbols.
The manner of holding the cards in the hand is related to a player’s needs to view his/her hand in a logically organised way, perhaps categorised into sets or sequences, usually reading from left to right...
The court cards in English packs of playing cards derive from models produced by Pierre Marechal in Rouen around 1565. A pack of such cards is preserved in the museum at Rouen.
Early examples of traditional, standard English playing cards of which the best known are those of Hewson of the seventeenth century, and Blanchard from the eighteenth century.
Cards produced in Rouen during the sixteenth century. It was cards like these which were imported to England and are the ancestors of the modern 'Anglo-American' pattern.
The design of a pack of playing cards involves a balance between utilitarian constraints and artistic possibilities.
Around 1987 I decided to make a pack of playing cards from woodblocks and coloured with stencils. I imagined I was carrying out my 'apprenticeship'.
When playing cards have titles or legends these reference a written/literary tradition of some form. It connects the image to a wider cultural sphere, extending the visual impact.
Willis & Company was formed in 1869, having been preceded by Charles Steer at the same address (80 Long Acre, London), who also manufactured playing cards during the 1850s and 60s.
Tourist souvenir playing cards depict the aesthetic, political, social and economic conceptions of the countries to which they belong. They feature beauty spots, local customs, gastronomy, historic ruins or other attractions.
Andrew Dougherty was born in Donegal in Northern Ireland in 1827. He started his playing card business in New York in 1848.
Printing of Playing Cards :: Stencilling can usually be detected by observing the outlines of the coloured areas which are often irregular with brush strokes discernible in the coloured areas.
Colour lithography was invented in 1798 by a Bavarian actor and playwright named Alois Senefelder (1771-1834). It is based on the principle that oil and water do not mix.
Dougherty was at the forefront of innovation, adding Best Bowers and then Jokers, rounded corners and various types of indices, or indicators, to his cards.
Dougherty first secured a patent for “Triplicates” in 1876, a novel type of indices with a miniature card in the top left-hand corner (and bottom right).
Columbian Exposition Souvenir playing cards, G.W. Clark, Chicago, 1893.
De Reszke Cigarettes “What the Stars Say” astrology cards issued by J. Milhoff & Co., 1934.
Delta playing cards are a modern art concept deck invented by Professor M. R. Ali, an artist operating under the company name of “Artology International”.
“Original Skatgeld der Stadt Altenburg” featuring the emergency money of 1921 designed by Otto Pech
Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board by Tony Hall.
Naipes TRIUNFO Spanish-suited playing cards by Orestes A. Cappellano, publishers and playing card manufacturers, Sarmiento 1537, Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.1940-55.
Naipes TRIUNFO Spanish-suited playing cards for Fernet Branca by Cappellano, S.A., publishers and playing card manufacturers, Florencio Varela 542, Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.1955-60.
Spanish-suited playing cards by Cappellano, S.A., Florencio Varela 542, Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.1965.
Estudio Negrin playing cards for PIRELLI, made by Orestes A. Cappellano S.R.L., Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.1960.
Naipes Naipes Torcacita, c.1945-65. Spanish-suited playing cards made by Orestes A. Cappellano; several examples from between c.1945-70.
Cappellano Hermanos were book publishers during the 1920s who also commenced producing playing cards around this time.
Naipes VELCAP playing cards by Orestes A. Cappellano, Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.1950,
Originally known as Cappellano Hnos in the 1920s, and undergoing several changes of name and address, the company produced catalan style packs with the brand names "Naipes Triunfo" and "Torcacita" as well as an Anglo-American style pack titled "VELCAP".
The quality of playing card designs often deteriorates with time…
‘Mundialito’ toy football playing cards published inside the magazine ‘Radiolandia 2000’, Argentina, 1978.
The “Mustering of the Mustard Club” was one of many promotional items produced by Colman's for the Mustard Club which was launched in 1926.
Children’s toy cards published in Argentina by Editorial Atlántida in the magazine “Billiken”, 1964.
Naipes Truco “Únicos” with caricatures of national celebrities designed by Gerardo N. Perez, 2006.
Naipe Estilo Español “Siglo XXI” created by Florencia Marotta, 2005.
Naipes Feroleto is a brand which began appearing in the Argentine market around 2002
There has been a number of importing agents, as well as manufacturers from other countries, who have imported playing cards into Argentina.
The reverse has advertising for Cymaco motor spares who have branches in Uruguay.
Naipe Español VICTORIA 4500 by F. X. Schmid (Argentina) S.A.
Playing Cards Imported into Argentina by Fagoaga y Compañía (Casa Bertrand Domec), Buenos Aires, c.1970
Bertrand Domec was an importer of playing cards into Argentina, 1904-1970.
Sr. Ernesto Flaiban, founder and president of E. Flaiban S.A., is seen here checking the quality of some playing cards.
Coimexpor Spanish-suited playing cards by Industria Gráfica Pesout, S.A., Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.2008.
Fournier No.35 Spanish-suited playing cards imported into Argentina by Fagoaga y Compañía (Bertrand Domec), c.1970.
Sebastian Comas y Ricart - Hija de A. Comas “El Ciervo” Spanish Catalan pattern, c.1930.
Sebastian Comas y Ricart - Hija de A. Comas “El Periquito” Spanish-suited playing cards for export to Argentina, c.1930.
By 1877 the New York Consolidated Card Co's "Squeezers" were a great success on account of the indices in the corners which enabled the cards to be fanned.
Naipes Intransparentes de Una Hoja No.55 made by Hijos de Heraclio Fournier (Vitoria) for exportation to Argentina, c.1940.
Playing Cards imported into Argentina by Casa Bertrand Domec de Fagoaga y Fernández (Sucesores) Bs. As., c.1935-50.
Heraclio Fournier ‘Poker Nº 505’ for export to Argentina with elaborate peacock joker, c.1960.
Naipes Victoria Spanish-suited playing cards manufactured by Cía General Fabril Financiera S.A.
Playing Cards by Compañia General de Fósforos, Bs. As. (founded 1888).
Naipes “La Estrella” Spanish-suited playing cards made for BOLS gin by Igor Domicelj, Buenos Aires, c.1954
Naipes “Naipynt” are a departure from Fourvel's usual Side Car brand, with a new ‘Clown Joker’ design, although the motorcycle motif is still visible in the centre of the Ace of Spades.
Naipes Estelares playing cards manufactured by Luis A. Fourvel y Cia., Buenos Aires, early 1950s.
Duty was first introduced on playing cards in Argentina in 1892, as part of the Internal Duties law, and in 1896 the first duty labels were printed to be used on packets of 1 gross packs.
Naipes HIJITUS playing cards were published during the mid-1980s as an insert in the children’s comic Anteojito.
Naipe Español "VICTORIA ® by F. X. Schmid (Argentina) S.A.
Advertising and publicity playing cards manufactured by Joker S.A.
“Naipes Argentinos Patagonia” with court cards depicting gauchos and native Indians, c.2000.
José Maria Quercia y Possi was an Italian immigrant who joined the Chilean Independence army. He set up a playing card factory in Argentina in 1815 known as "Fábrica de Buenos Aires".
Argentina publishes many tourist souvenir packs, usually with colour pictures on each card, and with either Spanish suit signs, or else Anglo-american ones, in each corner.
Asociart Insurance promotional playing cards, Argentina, 2000.
Clearly promoting good personal hygiene, each card shows a young, pouting female model posing seductively and appealing to the playboy.
The “Smart Set 400” brand with named backs was introduced in c.1906 by the Kalamazoo Playing Card Co. in Michigan. Kalamazoo subsequently merged with the Russell Playing Card Co. in around 1913 or 1914. Thereafter the “Smart Set 400” series continued to be published by the Russell Playing Card Co.
The originality of Leonor Fini's work is evident in these playing card designs. The imagery of her paintings was loosely based on dreams and this led her to be associated with the Surrealists...
Casa Jacobo Peuser was originally founded in 1867, and was involved in the importation of playing cards into Argentina during the period (approx.) c.1920-1950.
Julio Laje, importing agent for playing cards, Aconquija 2981, Buenos Aires, c.1930-1960.
Spanish-suited, Bingo-themed playing cards published in 2007 by Grupo AGG (Argentine Gaming Group) who owns the Bingo Avellaneda venues in Buenos Aires.
Naipes de Truco manufactured by Gráfica 2001 for Editorial Perfil, Buenos Aires, 1999
‘La Española 2000’ is a digitally re-drawn version of the original classic ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack and is produced in several sizes (standard, round, small and pocket).
Naipes Argentinos 'La Partida' y 'Aparcero' published by Obsequios Empresarios Argentinos, Santa Fe.
Playing cards were introduced to the Americas with Spanish explorers such as Columbus or Cortés.
Juegos Victoria – Juguetes Royal – publishers of children’s card games in Argentina during the 1960s and ‘70s.
List of Argentinian Playing Card Manufacturers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Florencio de los Ángeles Molina Campos (1891-1959) produced the artwork for his series of Gaucho playing cards from 1944 to 1958.
Berger also produced a Hungarian-type "Seasons" pack with the brand name "La Estrella" and a six-pointed star logo, which was subsequently used by Domicelj and Vigor, suggesting some sort of business succession.
Nascal S.R.L., Paisandu 760, Buenos Aires c.1960-80, manufacturers of plastic playing cards.
Alvarez Holmberg y Cia, playing card manufacturer, Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.1950-70
Naipes Casa Escasany ~ Magnificent novelty playing cards published by Casa Escasany, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1930s.
Designed to illustrate the history of four indigenous tribes who represent the roots of the Argentinean race.
Playing cards published by E. A. Chemmes, Buenos Aires during the early 1950s. The cards were probably printed by Ernesto Flaiban.
Naipes Argentinos para Truco "Falta Envido" created by Alberto Soifer with Gaucho courts and variant suit symbols, 1982.
The Arms of English Peers playing cards were first published in 1686. Heraldry, or a knowledge of the arms and blazons of royalty was an important part of a respectable education.
These Fortune-Telling cards, first published as early as 1690, were possibly the first pack of cards ever made specifically for the purpose of fortune-telling.
The North German pattern appeared in the mid-19th century, derived from the French ‘Paris’ pattern,
Delightful Cards, containing variety of entertainment for young Ladies and Gentlemen c.1723.
Hand-coloured Forrest Cards produced for “Young Gentlemen & Ladys who are Lovers of Ingenuity”, c.1750s.
“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644.
Illustrated playing cards featuring comical engravings and rhymes about saints, c.1740.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
The Royal Historical Game of Cards invented by Jane Roberts and published by Robert Hardwicke, c.1840.
Honduras shares a long tradition with Spain in the field of playing cards.
Seven cards from a satirical pack produced by Peter Flötner of Nuremberg, c.1545. The suit symbols are acorns, leaves, bells and hearts. The block-cutter and publisher was Franz Christoph Zell.
Japanese playing cards include: 'Awase' or 'matching pairs' cards and Portuguese or Spanish-derived 'Dragon' type cards.
Tacuabé was a Charrúa native from Uruguay, an indigenous tribe that became extinct following European conquest and colonisation.
Playing Cards designed by Alvaros, published by Eduardo Carrión, Montevideo, 2000
Cards from a 40-card pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm "Escalada y Vidiella" based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860.
In 1806 the Council of Concepción del Uruguay imposed an 8 Peso tax on card and billiard tables on account of “the detrimental effect on poor and innocent people”
Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60
Naipes Artiguistas published in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Rios province (Argentina) in 1816, by Fray Solano García.
The standard Spanish-suited 'Parisian' style (Tipo Frances) is based on models exported to South America by French manufacturers during the nineteenth century.
Inspired by an archaic Spanish pattern formerly used in Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries.
A version of the old Spanish National pattern which was manufactured by Parisian card makers in the 19th century for export to South America.
100th anniversary of the Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay, 1999.
Naipes Conrad Punta del Este Casino playing cards produced specially for Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino. .
Naipes ‘El Gaucho’ manufactured and distributed by Caraven S.A., Montevideo, Uruguay, c.1990s.
Naipes ‘El Gaucho’ manufactured and distributed by Cervantes S.A., Montevideo, c.1970s.
Naipes ‘Jaque’ Catalan pattern manufactured by Casabó S.A. for Laboratorios Gautier, c.1997.
Naipe Infantil Gauchito children’s miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims on the reverse,
Spanish-suited playing cards made specially for the Instituto Nacional de Calidad 2006 awards.
‘Naipes Donald’, children's miniature Spanish-suited Walt Disney playing cards, Uruguay, c.1990.
Miniature children’s playing cards with photographs of football players on the reverse.
Spanish-suited playing cards for Yerba Armiño, anonymous manufacturer probably made in China.
Miniature children's playing cards depicting popular heroes and celebrities on the backs, Montevideo, c.1928.
Miniature Spanish-suited playing cards featuring Scooby-Doo! made specially for Hellmann’s.
Playing cards for Radisson Hotels - Casinos del Estado - Victoria Plaza, Montevideo, Uruguay, c.2009.
Las Cartas de Sara (Yerba Mate) based on an idea by Diego Silva Pintos and illustrated by Hogue. Produced by Color/9, c.2003.
An example of the typical version of the Spanish Catalan pattern which is widely used in South American countries, especially Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Naipes Victoria Spanish-suited, gaucho-themed pack celebrating the culture and traditions of the gauchos.
Supermercados CHIP playing cards manufactured in Uruguay by Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, 1979
Naipes “Copa de Oro 1980” manufactured by Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, 1980.
Deck made by Johann Jobst Forster, Nürnberg, first half of 18th century in the Paris pattern.
"Verkehrte-Welt-Tarock” (reverse world ?) manufactured by Christian Theodor Sutor (fl. 1823-1854), Naumburg, around 1850.
Victory deck commemorating the Liberation war by Friedrich Gotthelf Baumgärtner, Leipzig, 1815.
Playing Cards from Hong Kong. A large proportion of the world's souvenir and pin-up playing cards originate from Hong Kong.
Gibson originally took over the business of Blanchard in 1769. Gibson & Hunt operated briefly (1801-1803) and were followed successively by Hunt & Son (1804-1821), Hunt & Sons (1821-1840), Hall (& Son), Hall & Bancks and finally Bancks Brothers (1841-89).
This rare Victorian manufacturer made standard English playing cards for a short period during the late 1880s and early 1890s.
Hunt & Sons (1820-1849) was the first maker to modernise the court card designs with a complete re-drawing.
The History of English Playing Cards dates probably from the mid 15th century
A division of Imperial Tobacco, they appear to have made cards almost exclusively for the cigarette token market, which flourished during the 1930s.
The Hardy family of playing card manufacturers began with Henry Hardy (1784-89) and continued through to Hardy & Sons who finally closed down in c.1840.
Jaques Advertising Leaflet showing Lawn tennis, Table Billiards, Staunton Chess, Croquet, etc.
A collecting game published in two series: the first series featuring Western Europe and the second series Eastern/Southern Europe.
An ‘Old Frizzle’ Ace of Spades was assigned to them in 1833. In 1853 James L. & J. Turnbull were listed as ‘Makers of Playing Cards, Pasteboard, Paper Glossers and Pressers and Drawing Board Makers.
Imperial Royal Playing Cards published by S. & J. Fuller, 34 Rathbone Place, London, 1828. The court cards show bust portraits of historical figures of England, Spain, Turkey and France.
William Warter's Proverbial Cards, which carry illustrations of old English proverbs, were first published in 1698.
Jaques' Quits card game, c.1880-85, with portraits of monarchs inside suit symbols in red, blue and yellow, designed to assist in the education of school children in British history.
The “Great Galumphus” card game from the 1920s shows various comic animals with their names printed alongside, designed by Miss Jessie Veal.
Wills’s “Happy Families” cards were issued by the Imperial Tobacco Company (of Great Britain and Ireland) Limited in around 1930.
Porterprint was a printing business based in Leeds (UK) which manufactured playing cards during the period c.1930-1980.
Andersons of Edinburgh began publishing playing cards in the late 1920s and several brands are known, including ‘Clan Tartan’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Thistle’
A collective of artists known as Monster Illustration produced a deck entitled “Monsters” in 2004.
Peter Wood’s “Jest Jokers” comprising 54 different Joker designs made into a full pack of cards.
Theakston Brewery advertising playing cards depicting old brewing traditions, tools and skills, designed in the style of early 18th century cards.
A preliminary look at the card-makers operating in the 19th century.
An initial survey of 19th century playing-card production. More detailed information appears on other pages.
Peter Wood’s “2000Pips” transformed playing cards reveal the artist’s love of nature.
Facsimile edition of 19th century I. Hardy Exportation deck complete with reproduction tax wrapper, c.1990s.
Jaques' Counties of England card game, 4th Series (Southern Counties), c.1910.
Hide & Seek with the Kings & Queens of England by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.
“Weights and Measures” card game by John Jaques & Son, Ltd., c.1910, a reminder of some of our more archaic units of measurement.
Designed by Emilio Soubrier, Ignacio Díaz and Augusto Rius during the 1880s as a new definitive national pattern.
Whereas the distinctiveness of Wales is an important resource contributing to the rich texture of variety which characterises the island of Britain, to date no Welsh playing cards cards have been found which were actually manufactured in Wales.
“Mercury” playing cards produced for the Liverpool Cooperative Society, printed by the Liverpool Daily Post, c.1930
John Player Special non-standard playing cards created by the illustrator Nick Price, 1987
Health Promotion playing cards issued by the British Army with cartoons about army life and information on where to get health advice.
“Legendary Land’s End” deck by John Hinde showing photographic views of Land’s End, Cornwall (UK)
Roberts Brothers Ltd, Gloucester (Glevum Brand) ‘Old Maid’ card game, 1920s.
“Jacqueline Wilson” playing cards were illustrated by Nick Sharratt and published by Winning Moves UK Ltd in 2007.
Spain has played a pivotal role in the history of playing cards in Europe and Latin America.
Trophy Whist No.39 playing cards published by the the United States Playing Card Co., 1895.
“Boudoir” playing cards were introduced by Chas Goodall & Son in 1906 in a new, slimmer size.
Disney Princess lenticular deck. Each card has two images, one when viewed straight on, and another when viewed from a side angle; both slightly 3D
The surface of the cards was slightly grooved by being rolled on prepared plates, so that there were little pockets of air between each card, which prevented them sticking together.
These Simpsons playing cards were created for a t-shirt competition. Each card representing a member of the Simpsons family.
Spanish-suited playing cards featuring the ‘Glorious’ ladies swimwear collection for 1995, designed by Estudio Fileni/Mendióroz.
Disney collectable cards showing scenes from Disney animated movies, printed in Poland by KZWP-Trefl, 2003.
Waddingtons ‘DC Comics Originals’ deck from 2014 featuring ‘Batman’,‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Justice League’ and ‘Superman’
Dr Who is a long-running science-fiction television series produced by the BBC, first airing in 1963.
‘Doctor Who Adventures’ is a weekly magazine aimed at younger readers. From time to time free playing cards are included with the magazine
The introduction of brands commenced during the late 19th century as a development of the old qualities: Moguls, Harrys, Highlanders and Merry Andrews.
“Game of Thrones” playing cards are an official fan deck associated with the HBO adaptation of the books by George R.R. Martin.
World of Harry Potter playing cards produced by Winning Moves under Waddingtons Number 1 brand, 2019.
The 72 Names Cards based on the Kabbalistic "72 Names of God" and the metaphysical artwork of Orna Ben-Shoshan, Raanana, Israel.
Isle of Man stamp issue based upon the history of Manx themed playing cards, featuring six fascinating, full colour stamps showing antique playing cards.
The costumes and details of this pack are in the spirit of "The Heroic Period of Irish History".
During the 1930s The Ormond Printing Co. Ltd produced playing cards for the Irish market with a distinctive ace of spades, joker and court cards. In 1935 the firm was acquired as a manufacturing facility for Waddington’s cards in Eire.
Playing card designs based on motifs from early Irish manuscripts and metalwork.
During the nineteenth century playing cards were being produced in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.
Selected views of Ireland Souvenir playing cards published by the Irish Tourist Association, 1950s
Playing cards designed by Rihards Zarinš, 1921. Latvian indices and with heraldic and hunting motifs reminiscent of the countries' ancient history and folklore.
Innovative "Icelandic Chess" pack, designed by Tryggvi Magnússon and manufactured by Alf Cooke Ltd (Universal Playing Card Co., Leeds) in 1942.
The game of Hanafunda was introduced into Korea by the Japanese and modified somewhat by the Koreans.
Celtic Journey playing cards - where art and culture meet - designed by Carmen G. Carballeira, 2011
Hwatu (화투) cards originally came about because gambling with four-suited decks was outlawed. This ban prompted the creation of new decks and a new game.
Feardiadh at the Ford jig-saw book with illustration by Kathleen Ennis, c.1940.
Each card has a colour drawing of a Korean building, museum or tourist attraction with a brief description and details of how to get there.
“Girls’ Generation” (Korean: 소녀시대; Sonyeo Shidae) is a nine-member South Korean pop girl group formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2007.
This special ‘Hwatu’ card set has all the traditional 48 flower cards given a modern graphic treatment.
In the style of religious icon paintings, these court card figures wear costumes reminiscent of the mid-17th century.
East Slavonic Mythology designed by Aleksey Orleansky (1994) featuring creatures from the watery underworld.
In 2010 Playboy Fragrances (Coty) released a 'gaming' set promotion comprising two decks of identical cards, one set of five dice and poker chips.
“Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels” playing cards based on the cult film, 1999.
Yowie Game Cards, a promotional item supplied by Cadbury Ltd and published by Kidcorp, c.1999.
Lovely Day for a Guinness deck published by Shamrock Gift Co Dublin, c.1980.
Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990.
8 cards and two jokers from the 'Gironda' pack, showing eminent statesmen and politicians from Lithuania from the 1990s.
Dviracio Kortos playing cards, based on 'Dviracio Zynios' ('The Bicycle's News'), a popular Lithuanian TV comedy show, in which actors satirize the vices and follies of modern society.
During the 20th century Lithuanian printers produced striking playing cards containing Lithuanian symbols and national heroes.
The best Latvian playing cards were produced just after independence, during the period 1921-1942.
Karlis Padegs (1911-1940) was a Latvian artist who designed 17 playing cards in 1936 - joker, aces, kings, queens and jacks.
This pack was issued during wartime, in 1936, under the name “Latvian Red Cross Cards No.7”.
In 1923 a competition was announced for a new Latvian pack. The winner of this competition was Stefans Bercs.
Reinholds Kasparsons, a popular Latvian illustrator of the day, designed this pack which was published as The Best Quality Playing cards No.1 in 1932.
Deakin & Co., 45 Eastcheap, London EC published a political pack in 1886 with caricatures of political figures relating to the Irish Home Rule movement which was a contentious issue of the day.
Black Peter card deck for children printed in Riga during World War II, believed to have been designed by a Latvian artist.
Klubams (for the clubs) playing cards manufactured in Lithuania by Spindulys Printing House (Kaunas), c.1930.
Kunigaiksciai ('Dukes') playing cards published by Spindulys Printing Co., Kaunas, Lithuania during the period c.1920-1940.
Gedimino Stulpai playing cards made in Lithuania by Spindulys Printing Co., Kaunas, depicting Lithuanian national symbolism.
Istorinės Historical Deck from Lithuania manufactured by Spindulys Playing Card Manufactory, Kaunas, c.1930s
Vaivorykštė ('the Rainbow') playing cards manufactured in Lithuania by Spindulys, 1930s. The deck has been reprinted by Fournier (Spain, 2004) and also in Lithuania.
'Pilys' playing cards ('Castles') manufactured in Lithuania by Spindulys Printing House, Kaunas, c.1930-40.
Alfreds Scwedrevitz playing card designs used to advertise Zole Vodka but which were never published.
The editors of “Privātā Dzīve” magazine conceived the idea for this new pack, which was designed by artist Lidmila Bulikina and printed by LGL Stils, Ltd in June 2001.
Playing cards designed by artist Larisa Kovalass-Kovalevska on the theme of the Latvian folk epic “Lāčplēsis”.
‘Eldar’ upholstery fabrics advertising deck by Middle East Manufacturing Co of Beirut, Lebanon, c.1960.
The summer of 1932 saw the introduction of Lexicon, when a small edition was produced and sold to test the market.
There is a very interesting collection of playing cards held at the Strangers' Hall Museum in Norwich.
Gwénolé Jaffrédou has designed a selection of social networking playing cards; featuring websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
A pack illustrated by Jeffrey Bucholtz inspired by ancient Egypt’s religious and philosophical system of Hermeticism.
The Thomson-Leng Tarot Cards were issued by the publishers of women's magazines during the 1930s. The cards are loosely based upon the Rider-Waite tarot.
The game of tarot was not widely accepted in England until the 1870s when a number of English occultists had begun taking an interest.
During the late 1940s and 1950s The Insight Institute, of New Malden in Surrey, ran correspondence courses on the Tarot, which consisted of lessons with homework which was checked by tutors as well as a set of 'Authenticated' Tarot cards.
Inner Realms was conceived from sacred geometry that inspired me to create and then pick out pieces of that design that amazed me, or inspired me to create another design...
Cheery Families card game designed by Richard Doyle and printed by De La Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1893
Bag of Bones playing cards, from a series of four decks designed by John Littleboy, 2008.
Mermaid Queen playing cards, from a series of four decks designed by John Littleboy, 2008
From Empresses to King Cats and One-Eyed Jacks, every game is a pageant of unforgettable cats, each with a story to tell...
Designed by Cesare Asaro to simulate decks from the 1700s or earlier, the Tarot of Musterberg is based on the traditional Tarot de Marseille but with an imaginary historical background.
The vibrant colours and artwork glorify the symbolism, mood and positive energy in this exciting new tarot deck from Australia.
The Basler Fasnachts deck is designed each year by a different local artist.
Whilst the titles of the cards are in Italian, the Hebrew and Sanskrit letters on the Trump cards denote, respectively, associations with the Cabbala and Vedic metaphysics.
Woodblock and stencil Animal Tarot cards, probably of German origin, 2nd half 18th century.
Special cartoon playing cards designed to accompany Nintendo's Mario series of computer games.
Paul Janzen and Troy Sullivan also know as Hurlyburly Games have created a unique pack to showcase the multicultural flavour of the world through playing cards.
Custom playing cards based on the TV series Parks and Recreation.
Advertising Playing Cards printed by Drukkerij Juten, published by “De Kloof” of Bergen op Zoom, Holland, c.1970
Alice in Wonderland card game based on original designs by Sir John Tenniel published by Thomas De la Rue & Co. Ltd, c.1900
The first-ever officially licensed Firefly Playing Cards. A tribute to the Firefly TV series, featuring iconic symbols and images from the Firefly universe.
“Fable III” playing cards created by Lionhead Studios depicting characters in the role-playing video game published by Microsoft Game Studios in 2010
Each card features a representation of a different sport at the London 2012 Olympic or Paralympic games.
This special pack celebrates the 40th anniversary of the film Jaws.
Stylish playing cards featuring the glamorous, superpowered female stars of the alternate reality world of DC Comics, published by 'Forbidden Planet', 2015
“Peter Pan” pictorial card game published by H. P. Gibson & Sons Ltd in c.1912 and manufactured by Thomas de la Rue & Co Ltd from drawings by Charles A. Buchel (1872–1950).
Prime Arts Playing Cards were published in 2004 featuring the work of contemporary artists, illustrators and photographers.
The ‘Housewives Tarot’ designed by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum, published by Quirk Books, 2004.
Plants vs. Zombies UNO card set Chinese edition, licensed by Mattel East Asia Limited, 2011.
Aleister Crowley Tarot - Crowley and Lady Freda Harris worked on the illustrations between 1938 and 1943
Spider Solitaire is a free web site offering new versions of the classic solitaire card game
Alice card game published by Pepys in 1952, based on the Walt Disney film “Alice in Wonderland”.
Bicycle Cybertech playing cards inspired by cyberpunk genre, illustrated by Jamie Meza, 2019.
Alice in Wonderland “Snap” 1 penny game from 1920s or 30s, made in Germany, anonymous manufacturer.
We're always on the lookout for new and interesting Kickstarter projects to feature on the World of Playing Cards. If you are in the process of creating a playing card-related Kickstarter project, or if you have seen an interesting project that we should promote, we'd like to work with you to maximise the potential of your campaign.
In the 1970s Whitman Publishing Co. ordered a series of popular games from Hong Kong for the UK market.
Tarocco Piedmontese by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, Defensa 125, Buenos Aires c.1890.
Tarocco Piedmontese by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, Moreno 248, Buenos Aires c.1900
78-card 'Taroquis Marca Obelisco' published by Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, during the 1950s, 60s & 70s, in the style known as "Tarocco Piemontese" which had been developed by Italian cardmakers during the nineteenth century.
Maxi Puke 201 Circus Poker brand produced by Wenyu Paper Products, Shanghai.
Pomorski Poker (Pomeranian Poker) is a gallery of characters from the region: politicians, media, culture, athletes, entrepreneurial women, etc.
Playing cards are used for fortune-telling, predicting the future or even as a psychological adjunct to folk medicine and therapy.
The Chinese took their cards with them wherever they travelled and traded in the East, and we find Chinese cards in use not only in the mainland but also in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, North Borneo and Vietnam.
Mlle Lenormand Cartomancy deck made by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken, Stralsund, c.1890.
Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France.
One of an extensive range of Chinese historical, art and culture playing cards, Three Kingdoms playing cards describes the historical story of the Three Kingdoms period, the political and military struggles between the contending rulers.
The Aces are decorated with the pip in a central circle and two different figures at each end of the card. The courts are lavishly illustrated.
During the 19th century a system of fortune telling arose in Europe using unnumbered, pictorial cards depicting popular imagery with subtitles in several languages.
A very impressive deck of cards featuring 54 different images from “Chinese Roles of Beijing Opera” published by HCG Poker Productions, 2005
Deck featuring 54 different images of Chinese Dragon Robes that emperors, empresses and royal family members wear on important occasions.
“Filmstars” deck published by Publistar, printed by La Ducale (France), 1962.
Each card in this novelty deck, subtitled “Funny Card”, carries information about a prestigious or popular brand.
Playing cards celebrating the story of the Chinese leader and statesman Chairman Mao / Mao Zedong & International Friends.
Deck made in China in c.2010 advertising the Chinese brew “Lucky Beer, the enlightened beer”
“Magic Poker Cards” are often found inside Christmas crackers along with party hats, puzzles and jokes...
Each card has a different photo of elements of the terracotta army whose purpose was to protect the emperor Qin Shi Huang in his afterlife.
Whot was invented by William Henry Storey in 1935. It comes from the days when friends and family played indoor games by the fireside.
“Terracotta Warriors of Emperor Qin” collectible playing cards, made in China, c.2010.
“Double Happiness” brand Hakka [客家] playing cards used by Hakka ethnic communities who have a separate identity from Cantonese,
The Tango - sultry and seductive - is Argentina's form of popular music and dance, invented in Buenos Aires in the 19th century.
Figuritas Golazo collectible football cards from Argentina, 1973.
Mayan Playing Cards from Guatemala / Baraja Maya / containing illustrations of archaeology, art, folklore, history and mythology of the Mayans.
“Maya” playing cards designed by Russian artist V. M. Sveshnikov and first published by The Colour Printing Plant, St Petersburg, in 1975.
Crudely printed miniature children's packs produced anonymously in c.1920-30.
‘Naipe Criollo Caraí Pujol’ with Gaucho designs by Julio F. Parada Seifert capturing the spirit of Argentine country life, 2005.
The designs of Mayan artists shown here give a general idea of their enormous artistic and cultural potential.
Spanish-suited playing cards made on rawhide and said to have been used by Chilean Mapuche Indians, XVI-XVII century
“Caballos Argentinos” playing cards with photographs of horses and ponies on each card.
Naipes de Poker “Milonguita” featuring early Tango music score covers, Gardés Editorial, 2003.
Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s.
‘Black Tango’ playing cards with photographs of dancing couples published by Gardés Editorial, 2003.
Difusora S.A is a distributor of smokers' materials. Around 1970-80 they also distributed "Minifusor" playing cards.
Minifusor Clásico, a modern re-drawing of the Catalan pattern published by Difusora, c.1980.
“Gilbert & Sullivan” hand-made Savoy Operas pack designed and created by Rex Pitts.
Some alternative approaches to producing small, hand-made editions of playing cards
Dianne Longley is a print artist who produces books and folios as well as intaglio and relief prints.
Cards from the delightful Enchanted Journey playing-cards by Karen Curran of Australia.
Shelley Fowles was born in South Africa but has lived in the United Kingdom since 1979. She trained in Art in Brighton and London.
Catherine Kelly, M.A. Paint and Print, B.A. History of Art and Fine Art Painting, is an artist working in Dublin
My current work evolved from using a pack of cards as a metaphor to explore the randomness of life and the luck of the draw.
My creativity proved useful in the Primary School classroom and children's clubs I run at Brooke Baptist Church in Norfolk...
Richard Valentine Pitchford, better known as Cardini, is one of that select band of performers who became legends during their own lifetimes
One Piece Hanafuda King card set published by Beverly Enterprises Inc, Tokyo, 2010
Elevenses is a card game in which respectable 1920s socialites strive to serve the finest morning teas!
Are you a fan of the undead? Vampires and zombies that have risen from the grave? Then this is a deck for you; the creatures featured on this pack are part-zombie and part-vampire. As Gerad Taylor, the creator of this deck, likes to call them "Zompires".
Alan Kriegel has set out to rethink the signs and symbols used in traditional playing cards.
Follow-up pack for the 2012 Blue Blood Playing Cards pack on Kickstarter.
Inspired by freezing tribal images of northern winter, this deck is called to show you all its mystic and dangerous beauty.
Two beautifully crafted custom playing cards decks. Featuring brightly colored illustrations and gorgeous typography.
The deck has been inspired by pirates and swashbuckling and the world of Steampunk, a science-fiction realm of steam-powered machinery, intricate cogs and gears.
A deck of playing cards inspired by the Wayang Shadow Puppets of the Island of Java.
A deck of cards inspired by the American Civil War, featuring leaders, army generals, President Abraham Lincoln and other characters from this historical period.
This pack created by Michael Scott has been inspired by retro 8-bit pixel games from the 80s and 90s.
The Tinker Deck is a pack inspired by Steampunk, a world where old machinery is infused with modern science.
The Z Deck is a new non-standard pack of cards created by Robert Bolduc. Each card has a third aspect instead of the usual suit and colour; which introduces many new games possible with the pack.
Scott Hill has been working on a tarot pack which can also be used to play card games, the pack has been designed to revive tarot and make it a fun and social interaction.
The Creative Clash card game, by the Infantree, is a fast-paced card game where you become the Principal of a creative agency and battle with your friends for the biggest Ego around.
Connie Lim has created a beautifully illustrated set of fashion inspired playing cards, a tangible telling of her story, intimately realized in the palm of your hand.
A beautifully hand-painted pack inspired by wildlife and the wilderness created by the Uusi design studio.
A set of cards to help bring awareness to old and infrequently used languages, created by E Brewstein. Each card in the pack also functions as a mini language lesson, great for playing games and also learning about Irish heritage.
These beautiful playing cards designed by Erik Mana aren't just your ordinary set but they also hold a secret codes and riddle.
Enter the Kingdoms of the New World with these fantasy themed playing cards by Nathanael Mortensen,
Three fine deck of playing cards inspired by the characters and stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Global Unrest uses a traditional playing card style mixed with a WWII military twist..
These steampunk inspired cards are based around a pair of real steampunk goggles that you can purchase and wear to look just like your favorite court card.
A Kickstarter campaign for a fine deck of playing cards inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe
War of Omens is a card game combining deck-builder and collectable-card-game mechanics, featuring fast, strategic play and 3 different playable factions.
The Kadar deck designed by Christopher J Gould aims to break the norms of playing card design. The vibrant and fun pack has drawn inspiration from travelling fortune tellers and gypsies.
Meeple playing cards is where the iconic shape of the “meeple” used in many board games meets playing cards.
The deck is about the dichotomy of a life at sea. Exploring famous sailors, explorers, pirates, and privateers of the age of sail.
Diba Salimi has created a hand illustrated pack inspired by Persian ancient history, art and Persian rugs.
A pack inspired by subjects such as spirituality, the occult, ouija boards, spirit photography and generally all things spooky.
Instead of the usual ace of spades, or a seven of diamonds, this pack has a "spade of aces" and a "diamond of sevens"; meaning that the spade is made up of aces using a typographic and illustrative style.
This pack has been inspired by the Requiem Mass, a Mass celebrated for the souls of one or more deceased persons. The dark style of illustrations features occult symbols and imagery such as horns, hearts, thorns and skulls and the typography reflects ancient latin scripts.
“Kingdoms of a New World” playing cards designed by Nathanael Mortensen, 2014.
Memento, a unique Playing Card Deck designed by Valerio Aversa and Antonios Fiala, inspired by the history of playing card design.
This pack created by Randy Coffey is based on the 1920s and 1930s Art Deco style of fine decoration and fashion.
Standard court cards show the king, queen and jack looking sideways and diagonal; these elegant Spirit playing cards show the court characters front-facing.
Jessica Feinberg, mostly known for her unique mythic paintings of nature, dragons, is a creator the Earth Dragons and Other Rare Creatures playing cards.
Mantecore playing cards, named as a tribute to magicians Siegfried and Roy's famous tiger, 2015.
A gorgeous deck of cards featuring the dragon art of Kerem Beyit and printed by the United States Playing Card Company.
Two collectable sets of cards featuring Cats and Dogs as Royalty through the ages.
A custom deck with magnificent characters, illustrations and tropical design. Inspired by the nature of the Polynesian islands. Wild and truly unique.
Inspired by ancient symbology and traditional playing cards, Omnia is the third pack designed by Giovanni Meroni, 2015.
Viridian playing cards are a modern twist inspired by the classics. Influenced by vintage design and refined by modern aesthetics.
A full custom deck of playing cards, inspired by the different cultures of the world; including China, Italy, USA and the Netherlands.
Celtic Myth playing cards are the third and final set of cards in a series based around the themes of Celtic mythology and society.
The following items are a selection of what has come my way over the past two to three years.
Naipes El Potro Rodrigo with Spanish suit symbols and photos of the pop singer on each card, c.2000.
John Sterling publishes budget-grade playing cards in Argentina.
Each card shows an image of a bottle of hot Chilli Sauce (spelt 'chile' on the cards), a map of where the product is made, a heat gauge (see top left), plus amusing notes and information about the particular sauce.
CHANCE Playing Cards are produced by Catalyst, an open group of women artists and scientists founded in 1995 in Portsmouth UK.
A deck made specifically for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first African-american college fraternity, for their 2000 convention.
Self-Nurturing Solitaire is a deck of cards designed to improve Self-Esteem.
A deck of cards produced as a creative collaboration and made possible largely through volunteers and sponsorship of various kinds.
Legends Playing Card Company aspires to print the highest quality playing cards and packaging in the world
Jetsetter playing cards, inspired by aviation, air travel and jet-setting.