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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.

Browsing designer:

Richard Doyle (1824-1883)

4 Articles

Bread & Honey

A charming Victorian family card game involving Clowns, Queens, Kings, Maids and thirty-seven Blackbirds manufactured by Thos De la Rue, c.1900.

Bread & Honey

Spin & Old Maid

Lovely Victorian family card game with illustrations by the famous humorous artist, cartoonist and illustrator Richard Doyle (1824-1883)

Spin & Old Maid

Stop Thief & Snip-Snap

Another late Victorian family card game by Thomas de la Rue & Co Ltd, c.1895 with beautifully illustrated period characters.

Stop Thief & Snip-Snap

Cheery Families, c.1893

Cheery Families card game designed by Richard Doyle and printed by De La Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1893

Cheery Families, c.1893