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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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Netherlands

58 Articles

Playing cards have been known in the Low Countries since the 14th century

Netherlands

Playing cards have been known in the Low Countries since the 14th century

Netherlands

Netherlands Kostuum Kwartet

Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.

Netherlands Kostuum Kwartet

Nederlands Stedenkwartet

Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.

Nederlands Stedenkwartet

Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.

Zwarte Piet

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, 1938.

Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel

Havermout Kwartetspel

“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.

Havermout Kwartetspel

Asperge Kwartet

Asperge Kwartet published by Knorr.

Asperge Kwartet

Stationskwartetspel

Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.

Stationskwartetspel

Natuurkwartet

Nature Quartet game published by Staatsbosbeheer, printed by Roem Speelkaarten, Kampen.

Natuurkwartet

Sprookjes Kwartet

Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.

Sprookjes Kwartet

Nationale-Nederlanden

Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.

Nationale-Nederlanden

Neerlands Glorie

Neerlands Glorie Kwartetspel published by Hausemann & Hötte N.V, Amsterdam, 1945.

Neerlands Glorie

Verkeers Kwartet

Verkeers Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek BV, Amsterdam, 1965.

Verkeers Kwartet

Boekenkwartet

Boekenkwartet featuring illustrations from children's books, 1970s.

Boekenkwartet

Jip en Janneke

Jip en Janneke quartet game published by Hema, a Dutch department store, c.1960.

Jip en Janneke

Papita Sport Kwartet

Papita Sport Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek, c.1975.

Papita Sport Kwartet

Monty Gum ‘Stars Play’

‘Stars Play’ card set published by Monty Gum, Leiden, 1988.

Monty Gum ‘Stars Play’

Belle Vue Gueuze

Promotional playing cards designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, 1960s.

Belle Vue Gueuze

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

Navarra Pattern by Jonas Fouquet, c.1720 and c.1820.

Jonas Fouquet Navarra Pattern

Story Magazine

Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.

Story Magazine

Saint-Martin Island Souvenir

St-Martin Island Souvenir published by Editions Exbrayat.

Saint-Martin Island Souvenir

Donald Duck Groente & Fruit Pretkwartet

Donald Duck Vegetables & Fruit Quartet exclusive from Jumbo supermarkets, © Disney 2016.

Donald Duck Groente & Fruit Pretkwartet

Carel de Wagenaer

Facsimile edition of cards first published by Carel de Wagenaer, Amsterdam in c.1698

Carel de Wagenaer

Four Days of Walking Event

Dutch playing cards promoting the annual International Four Days of Walking Event held in Holland, 2016

Four Days of Walking Event

Hidden meanings in painting by Jheronimus Bosch

Medieval View of Gambling in the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Jheronimus Bosch

Hidden meanings in painting by Jheronimus Bosch

Cartes de Luxe (1877) facsimile

‘Cartes de Luxe’ first published by Biermans in 1877 was reproduced in facsimile by Amstel Beer in c.1980.

Cartes de Luxe (1877) facsimile

Genever Giraf

Dutch pattern advertising deck for Genever Giraf made by Van Genechten in the 1950s.

Genever Giraf

Piket Fijne Speelkaarten, c.1925-30

‘Piket Fijne Speelkaarten’ by La Turnhoutoise, c.1925-30.

Piket Fijne Speelkaarten, c.1925-30

BG Bouw Building Company

BG Bouw Dutch Building Company publicity deck manufactured by Carta Mundi, c.1980.

BG Bouw Building Company

Max Velthuijs for KLM

Playing cards designed by Max Velthuijs for KLM airlines first published c.1964

Max Velthuijs for KLM

Beesten Kwartet

Beesten Kwartet designed by Peter Vos. Published by Thomas Rap of Amsterdam, 1995.

Beesten Kwartet

British American Tobacco patience

Patience deck for British American Tobacco printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland c.1940

British American Tobacco patience

Hollywood Stars

Hollywood Stars by Maple Leaf B.V., Amsterdam, 1957

Hollywood Stars

Royal Dutch Mail

Elegant “Nieuw Neerlandia” pattern designed by M.A. Koekkoek and produced by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, c.1930s

Royal Dutch Mail

Archaeological find: old playing cards under the floorboards

The municipal archaeological service in Dordrecht (Netherlands) recently found some antique playing cards under the floorboards inside an old public bar.

Archaeological find: old playing cards under the floorboards

Ronia Genoese Pattern

‘Ronia’ Genoese Pattern made in Hungary for the Dutch market, c.1970

Ronia Genoese Pattern

Dutch Pattern for Van Perlstein

Brepols Dutch Pattern for Van Perlstein distillery, c.1960.

Dutch Pattern for Van Perlstein

Cultura Playing Card Deck by Mankin Chan

A full custom deck of playing cards, inspired by the different cultures of the world; including China, Italy, USA and the Netherlands.

Cultura Playing Card Deck by Mankin Chan

Noord Braband

“Historical Playing Cards” originally commissioned by Northern Brabant Insurance Society and manufactured by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland in 1943

Noord Braband

Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek

Shipping line playing cards produced by Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek, c.1910 offering a virtual tour of destinations to the Far East

Nederlandse Speelkaarten Fabriek

Speelkaarten-Fabriek Nederland “Fortuna”

Speelkaarten-Fabriek Nederland for Royal West Indian Mail Service, c.1926

Speelkaarten-Fabriek Nederland “Fortuna”

Anonymous Dutch deck, 1940s

Anonymous Dutch deck, 1940s

Anonymous Dutch deck, 1940s

De Kloof

Advertising Playing Cards printed by Drukkerij Juten, published by “De Kloof” of Bergen op Zoom, Holland, c.1970

De Kloof

Esveco Specialities B.V.

Alto Imaging Group playing cards manufactured by Esveco Specialities B.V., c.1990s

Esveco Specialities B.V.

Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen

Playing cards published by the Dutch Prison Service, giving a look behind the gates of Judicial / Custodial institutions

Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen

Kriegs-Spiel by Peter Schencken, Amsterdam

Peter Schencken of Amsterdam copied the "Jeu de la Guerre" or "Das Kriegs-Spiel" (with German captions) originated by Gilles de La Boissière and published by Mariette in 1668 in Paris.

Kriegs-Spiel by Peter Schencken, Amsterdam

Albert Heijn’s Boffie Kwartetspel

The “Boffie” Kwartetspel was designed by Huibert Vet and published by Albert Heijn in 1936

Albert Heijn’s Boffie Kwartetspel

Wereldvlucht Kwartet

Published in 1933, this game celebrated the burgeoning passenger services by air around the world. Spears Weltflug Quartette was produced in German, Dutch and English versions.

Wereldvlucht Kwartet