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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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Scotland

13 Articles

Dundas & Wilson Deal Winners

“Deal Winners” promotional pack for Dundas & Wilson law firm.

Dundas & Wilson Deal Winners

Happy Guides

Happy Guides by James Brown & Son (Glasgow) Ltd. around 1910/1915.

Happy Guides

Hendrick’s Gin

Nice advertising deck for Hendrick’s Gin, c.2015.

Hendrick’s Gin

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots and other Tudor period dignitaries, published by Piatnik, 1990.

Mary Queen of Scots

Scottish Picture Playing Cards

Scottish Picture Playing Cards featuring photographs by Colin Baxter, 1987

Scottish Picture Playing Cards

Walkers Shortbread

Advertising Deck for Walkers Shortbread, c.1998.

Walkers Shortbread

Fred Basset

Fred Basset card game published by Pepys in 1977 based on the cartoon strip by Alex Graham.

Fred Basset

Caledonian Airways “European Phrases”

“European Phrase” playing cards produced for Caledonian Airways, 1994.

Caledonian Airways “European Phrases”

Souvenir of Scotland

52 Selected Views of Scotland produced for United Cigar & Tobacco Co. Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd.

Souvenir of Scotland

Clans & Tartans of Scotland

“Clans & Tartans of Scotland” deck of cards designed and illustrated by Romilly Squire, 1997.

Clans & Tartans of Scotland

Andersons of Edinburgh

Andersons of Edinburgh began publishing playing cards in the late 1920s and several brands are known, including ‘Clan Tartan’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Thistle’

Andersons of Edinburgh

Perthshire Playing Cards

Perthshire Playing Cards with photography by Duncan McEwan, 2014.

Perthshire Playing Cards