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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.

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Finland

10 Articles

Playing cards from Finland. Finnish cards have a relatively short history, presumably because the country only finally broke loose from Russian influence in 1920.

Playing cards from Finland

Playing cards from Finland. Finnish cards have a relatively short history, presumably because the country only finally broke loose from Russian influence in 1920.

Playing cards from Finland

Kalevala

Kalevala playing cards by Sunish Chabba and Ishan Trivedi inspired by ancient Finnish mythology.

Kalevala

Reshuffle

“Reshuffle” by Reetta Hiltunen, Finland, is a playing card installation stemming from the traditional Finnish children's card game Pekka-game or Funny Families.

Reshuffle

Finnish Stamps

Playing cards featuring a selection of Finland's postage stamps made by Nelostuote Oy (Tactic Games), Pori, Finland

Finnish Stamps

World Tour

World Tour Quiz Game published by Tactic Group for Finnair involves recognising flags from different countries and their locations on the map.

World Tour

VR-VISA

VR-VISA playing cards published by VR Group, the state-owned railway company in Finland.

VR-VISA

Kuningas Artturin Ritarit

“Kuningas Artturin Ritarit” (King Arthur’s Knights) playing cards designed by Mauri Kunnas

Kuningas Artturin Ritarit

Salakuljettaja Smugglaren

Salakuljettaja Smugglaren is the Scandinavian version of Pepys’ “Contraband” published by Förlag Bildkonst, 1958.

Salakuljettaja Smugglaren

Playing cards from Finland

Playing cards from Finland. Finnish cards have a relatively short history, presumably because the country only finally broke loose from Russian influence in 1920.

Playing cards from Finland

Pekka-peli

‘Pekka’, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’.

Pekka-peli