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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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5 Articles
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Birkel Schwarzer Peter

The Birkel company has produced several promotional “Schwarzer Peter” packs over the years and this one is themed on the circus. • May 03, 2014

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Circus No.47

“Circus No.47”, first issued in 1896. The staid old Kings, Queens and Jacks have given way to various well-known ring masters, clowns and queens; dashing circus designs. Indeed, the clown Jacks are only a short step away from Jokers! • Feb 23, 2013

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Circus Snap

Circus Snap published by Pepys Games, c.1954. • Aug 29, 2014

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Circus Transformation Cards

Deluxe Limited Edition Circus Transformation Deck designed by F. Robert Schick, 1988 • Jan 16, 2014

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Il Circo

Il Circo illustrated by Jules Garnier, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004. • Feb 27, 2021