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.

Browsing keyword:

children

23 Articles

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Piñón Fijo

“Piñón Fijo” is an Argentine clown, whose real name is Fabián Gómez. He is well-known on Argentine children's television.

Piñón Fijo

Secret Magic Cards

‘Secret Magic Cards’ published by Hanky Panky Toys Thailand Ltd., © World Magic International, 2006

Secret Magic Cards

Starlight

‘Starlight’ playing cards - brightening the lives of seriously ill children - published by Simon Lucas Bridge Supplies Ltd.

Starlight

Mr. Men™

Mr. Men™ & Little Miss™ playing cards by Roger Hargreaves

Mr. Men™

Noah’s Deck

“Noah’s Deck” designed by Ljiljana Rylands, c.1990.

Noah’s Deck

Creciendo Seguros

‘Creciendo Seguros’ road safety awareness playing cards from Argentina, 2006.

Creciendo Seguros

Familles Provinciales

Jeu des 7 Familles Provinciales printed by Nisse, Croix-Lille, c.1930

Familles Provinciales

Mustering of the Mustard Club

The “Mustering of the Mustard Club” was one of many promotional items produced by Colman's for the Mustard Club which was launched in 1926.

Mustering of the Mustard Club

Wereldvlucht Kwartet

Published in 1933, this game celebrated the burgeoning passenger services by air around the world. Spears Weltflug Quartette was produced in German, Dutch and English versions.

Wereldvlucht Kwartet

Waddy Productions

Waddy Productions Ltd was a member of the giant Amalgamated Press group and only published card games for a short period in the 1930s.

Waddy Productions

Mauclair Dacier Familles

This “Jeu de Sept Familles” was produced by Mauclair Dacier in the late 19th century.

Mauclair Dacier Familles

The Great Galumphus

The “Great Galumphus” card game from the 1920s shows various comic animals with their names printed alongside, designed by Miss Jessie Veal.

The Great Galumphus

Cow & Gate Happy Family Game

Cow and Gate Happy Family game was issued around 1928 to promote nutrition products.

Cow & Gate Happy Family Game

Regional Costumes

Spanish regional costumes and coats-of-arms; cute illustrations on each card, 1986.

Regional Costumes

Liebig Beef Extract

The first cards, or “chromos”, were published in 1872 and during the next 100 years almost 2,000 series were issued as a form of advertisement, but also educational as they cover almost every field of knowledge.

Liebig Beef Extract

Kinder-Karte

First published in c.1870, children are presented in these miniature Patience cards disguised as Kings, Queens and Jacks. The Kings' crowns are slightly over-sized for their heads and the children are wearing false beards.

Kinder-Karte

Mini-Poker

Mini-Poker miniature playing cards made in China.

Mini-Poker

Baraja Infantil made in Cuba

cards from a 40-card children's "Questions and Answers" game. The Spanish suit signs have been changed to tambourines, yo-yos, swords and skittles. Printed lithographically in Cuba, c.1930.

Baraja Infantil made in Cuba

Naipe Infantil by Plasticos Pardo M.R.

Naipe Español Infantil miniature children's playing cards with suit signs of ice creams, baseball bats, swords and suns, manufactured in Chile by Plasticos Pardo M.R.

Naipe Infantil by Plasticos Pardo M.R.

Proverbs and Maxims

Naipe Infantil Gauchito children’s miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims on the reverse,

Proverbs and Maxims