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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

23 Articles
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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. • Jul 27, 2012

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15: Perforated Cards, Metal Finish and Other Oddities

There are some unusual designs in playing cards, even the shape of the card. • Sep 10, 2012

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2: Over 70 Years of Collecting Playing Cards

This is a personal account of some of my experiences collecting playing cards. • May 20, 2012

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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! • Jun 13, 2013

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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. • Jun 26, 2014

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41: A Guide to Dating Playing Cards

Dating is a particularly tricky but very interesting problem to tackle and there are many pitfalls • Jun 28, 2014

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49: De La Rue in detail

A detailed presentation of the variants of De La Rue's standard cards • May 31, 2016

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51: Some modern variation

A brief survey of some of the current variation in the standard English pattern. • Jun 22, 2016

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56: Number cards and Chinese Crackers

A brief look at the number cards used in standard English packs. • Jan 23, 2017

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69: My Collection

This is an archive list of my collection. I hope it will be of use and interest to others. • Nov 01, 2019

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A Case Study

Case Study: using detective work to identify and date a pack discovered in charity shop. • Jun 07, 2020

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A Look Back with Hope for the Future

“A Look Back with Hope for the Future” by Rod Starling • Dec 17, 2018

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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. • Nov 26, 2021

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Chinese Jokers

Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world. • Mar 03, 2019

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Collecting Playing Cards with Jan Walls

I collected playing cards when I was in primary school, by Jan Walls. • Jan 14, 2020

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Cribbage Board Collection

A collection of antique and vintage Cribbage Boards by Tony Hall • May 15, 2015

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Dr Ken Lodge

​I'm Ken Lodge and have been collecting playing cards since I was about eighteen months old (1945). I am also a trained academic, so I can observe and analyze reasonably well. I've applied these analytical techniques over a long period of time to the study of playing cards and have managed to as... • Oct 08, 2015

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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. • Sep 07, 2015

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Is Card Collecting an Investment?

“Is Card Collecting an Investment?” - an article by Rod Starling. • Oct 12, 2019

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Jokers page 2

More Jokers from around the world. • Mar 09, 2005

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Patience Cards and their Boxes

Patience Cards and their Boxes by Tony Hall. • Jun 03, 2020

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Standard and Non-standard Playing Cards

Standard playing cards are based upon traditional designs and are used for card games. • Jan 01, 1970

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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. • Sep 28, 2020