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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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Egypt

8 Articles

Red Sea

Red Sea fish identification cards published in several languages by Horus of Egypt, 2005.

Red Sea

Egypt Souvenir

Souvenir from Egypt - the home of lovely memories - 54 colour photos, c.1980.

Egypt Souvenir

Pharaonic Souvenir of Egypt

Pharaonic Souvenir of Egypt, c.2010

Pharaonic Souvenir of Egypt

Papyrus playing cards

Egyptian ‘Papyrus’ playing cards with beautiful illustrations against a papyrus background.

Papyrus playing cards

Boutros Arabic Playing Cards

Arabic playing cards designed by Evy Maros & Mourad Boutros, c.1990

Boutros Arabic Playing Cards

David Robert

“David Robert” playing cards with artwork after Robert's Sketches in Egypt and Nubia.

David Robert

British Museum Playing Cards

Unique pack of playing cards created for the British Museum with illustrations by Frances Button.

British Museum Playing Cards