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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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Black Peter

17 Articles

‘Pekka’, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’.

Pekka-peli

‘Pekka’, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’.

Pekka-peli

Black Peter

Two Black Peter games by Willy Mayrl published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, 1950s.

Black Peter

Schwarzer Peter no.964

Schwarzer Peter no.964 published by Josef Hohlweg, Vienna, early 20th century.

Schwarzer Peter no.964

Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.

Zwarte Piet

Black Peter

Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.

Black Peter

Handmade Black Peter

Handmade Black Peter cards.

Handmade Black Peter

Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955.

Schwarzer Peter Der Wald und seine Leute

Wie Wird das Wetter

Wie Wird das Wetter, a Black Peter game about the weather created by Gunter Eckhardt, published by Rudolf Forkel,1952.

Wie Wird das Wetter

Schwarzer Peter mit Hundebildern

Humorous dog-themed Black Peter game illustrated by Willy Mayrl, c.1960.

Schwarzer Peter mit Hundebildern

Schwarzer Peter

Schwarzer Peter No.831 by F.X. Schmid, c.1960s.

Schwarzer Peter

Schwarzer Peter

Schwarzer Peter animal pairs card game produced in Germany, c.1920s.

Schwarzer Peter

Čierny Peter

Four themed ‘Čierny Peter’ card games by Obchodní Tiskărny.

Čierny Peter

Schwarzer Peter Quartett

“Schwarzer Peter Quartett” game published by VEB Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik with cartoons by Wilhelm Busch.

Schwarzer Peter Quartett

Schwarzer Peter

Art Deco style “Schwarzer Peter” card game published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken A.G., Stuttgart.

Schwarzer Peter

Walt Disney “Schwarzer Peter”

Walt Disney “Schwarzer Peter” game published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken A.G.

Walt Disney “Schwarzer Peter”

Birkel Schwarzer Peter

The Birkel company has produced several promotional “Schwarzer Peter” packs over the years and this one is themed on the circus.

Birkel Schwarzer Peter

Black Peter, c.1940

Black Peter card deck for children printed in Riga during World War II, believed to have been designed by a Latvian artist.

Black Peter, c.1940

Pekka-peli

‘Pekka’, an additional card in the set, is an ethically-incorrect gollywog look-alike card, embodying the caricature of foreign heritage without a status or family structure. In other countries the game is often known as ‘Old Maid’, ‘Black Peter’, ‘Petter-spel’ or ‘Schwarzer Peter’.

Pekka-peli