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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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collecting

22 Articles

A. Camoin & Cie

This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating.

A. Camoin & Cie

Why do we Collect? My 20 Favourite Items

I suppose people collect for different reasons, rarity, quality, ingenuity of design, sentimental value... by Tony Hall.

Why do we Collect?  My 20 Favourite Items

A Case Study

Case Study: using detective work to identify and date a pack discovered in charity shop.

A Case Study

Patience Cards and their Boxes

Patience Cards and their Boxes by Tony Hall.

Patience Cards and their Boxes

Collecting Playing Cards with Jan Walls

I collected playing cards when I was in primary school, by Jan Walls.

Collecting Playing Cards with Jan Walls

69: My Collection

This is an archive list of my collection. I hope it will be of use and interest to others.

69: My Collection

Is Card Collecting an Investment?

“Is Card Collecting an Investment?” - an article by Rod Starling.

Is Card Collecting an Investment?

Chinese Jokers

Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world.

Chinese Jokers

A Look Back with Hope for the Future

“A Look Back with Hope for the Future” by Rod Starling

A Look Back with Hope for the Future

56: Number cards and Chinese Crackers

A brief look at the number cards used in standard English packs.

56: Number cards and Chinese Crackers

51: Some modern variation

A brief survey of some of the current variation in the standard English pattern.

51: Some modern variation

49: De La Rue in detail

A detailed presentation of the variants of De La Rue's standard cards.

49: De La Rue in detail

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker. Chatting about the history of playing cards, uses of cards and collecting.

Interview with Tom and Judy Dawson from 52 Plus Joker

Cribbage Board Collection

A collection of antique and vintage Cribbage Boards by Tony Hall

Cribbage Board Collection

41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

Dating is a particularly tricky but very interesting problem to tackle and there are many pitfalls.

41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

39: Mixed Packs

A number of mixed packs appear for sale from time to time, but it's important to sort out what is meant by the term mixed. It is an issue that is not as straightforward as it might seem.

39: Mixed Packs

26: Playing Cards: Rarity, Value, Dating, Sellers and eBay

Notions like rarity and monetary value are slippery customers and need careful handling. And there are still plenty of misleading descriptions on eBay - as well as looney prices!

26: Playing Cards: Rarity, Value, Dating, Sellers and eBay

15: Perforated Cards, Metal Finish and Other Oddities

There are some unusual designs in playing cards, even the shape of the card.

15: Perforated Cards, Metal Finish and Other Oddities

11: Some Cards From Sylvia Mann’s Collection

A fascinating collection that was the basis of a lot of research that we still benefit from today.

11: Some Cards From Sylvia Mann’s Collection

2: Over 75 Years of Collecting Playing Cards

This is a personal account of some of my experiences collecting playing cards.

2: Over 75 Years of Collecting Playing Cards

The Joker Card

The 'Joker' is believed to have been invented by American Euchre players who, when modifying the rules sometime during the 1860s, decided that an extra trump card was required.

The Joker Card

Standard and Non-standard Playing Cards

Standard playing cards are based upon traditional designs and are used for card games.

Standard and Non-standard Playing Cards