The World of Playing Cards Logo The World of Playing Cards Logo

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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5 Articles
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Navarra Pattern

Navarra Pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly. • Dec 10, 2017

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Navarra Pattern, 1682

Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly in 1682. • Dec 11, 2017

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Phelippe Ayet, 1574

49 assorted cards were found hidden in the lintel of a doorway, in an old building in Toledo, during demolition, and are now preserved in the the Museo de Santa Cruz de Toledo. • Jan 01, 1970

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Phelippe Ayet, c.1574

Archaic, late medieval Spanish-suited playing cards printed by Phelippe Ayet, c.1574 • Jan 01, 1970

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Toledo, 1584

Archaic Spanish-suited deck with 48 cards made in Toledo in 1584. • Mar 23, 2021