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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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Arabic

20 Articles
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A. Camoin & Cie, Casablanca & Marseille

Spanish national pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Casablanca & Marseille • Jan 01, 1970

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Algeria

Spanish suited playing cards produced by B. P. Grimaud (Paris) for Algeria, around 1910. • Jan 01, 1970

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Anonymous

Anonymous Moroccan Playing Cards for Royal Air Maroc airlines and others... • Jul 05, 2011

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Boutros Arabic Playing Cards

Arabic playing cards designed by Evy Maros & Mourad Boutros, c.1990 • Nov 22, 2014

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Burj Al Arab Jumeirah

Gold plated souvenir playing cards from the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel in Dubai. • Jun 16, 2018

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Cartes La Gazelle, Casablanca

Cartes La Gazelle, manufactured by Imprimerie de L’Entente, Casablanca • Jan 01, 1970

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Casablanca playing cards from Morocco

Moroccan cards with the legend 'Casablanca' • Jan 01, 1970

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Chaudsoleil Wine

Chaudsoleil Red Wine advertising playing cards from Morocco. • Jul 05, 2011

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David Robert

“David Robert” playing cards with artwork after Roberts' Sketches in Egypt and Nubia. • Oct 30, 2014

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Hafez Fortune Telling Cards

Fortune Tellers use the Hafez Cards by interpreting the Hāfez poems printed on the card backs when cards are selected randomly by their consultants. • Apr 14, 2014

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History of Playing Cards - 1

A cluster of early literary references refer to the game being introduced by 'a Saracen', 'the Moorish Game' etc. • Apr 07, 2001

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Iran

Representing Iranian culture and history and intended for a Persian market, these playing cards were designed by V. Romanowski de Boncza, ordered by the Iranian government playing card monopoly at the time and printed by Thomas De la Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1937. • Jul 08, 2012

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Les Artisans Tunisiens

“Les Artisans Tunisiens” Jeu de Sept Familles published by Éditions de la Mediterranée, Alpha S.A., Tunis • Aug 18, 2016

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Mamluk Playing Cards

Nã'ib, the game of lieutenants... these cards are amongst the earliest Arabic playing cards extant. • Mar 26, 2001

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Moorish playing cards

These two uncoloured, uncut sheets of early Moorish playing cards were formerly preserved in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona. They were first brought to light by Simon Wintle in 1987. • Jan 31, 2010

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Moroccan Bank of Commerce and Industry

Advertising pack for the Moroccan Bank of Commerce and Industry, 1986 • Jan 01, 1970

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Persian Miniatures

Persian Miniatures, made in Hungary c.1990. • Nov 06, 2020

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Playing cards in Morocco

The earliest literary references to playing cards in Europe refer to the game having been introduced by a 'Saracen', and also to Moorish and Damascene varieties of playing card. • Jan 01, 1970

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Qajar Dynasty playing cards

Qajar Dynasty playing cards, Iran, 19th century. • Sep 13, 2017

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Tunisia

Playing Cards in Tunisia. Chkobba is one of the most popular card games in Tunisia, mainly played by men in coffee shops but also played at home by men and women alike. • Feb 13, 2012