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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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commemorative

33 Articles

Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América

Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America by Heraclio Fournier, 1992.

Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América

My Goodness my Guinness

Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.

My Goodness my Guinness

Year of the Child

Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.

Year of the Child

Renovation 2.000

Renovation 2.000 playing cards with special courts designed by Jean Hoffmann.

Renovation 2.000

French Revolution

Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française 1789–1989 created by Christian Offroy.

French Revolution

Woman’s Hour

The Woman’s Hour playing cards published by David Westnedge, 1996.

Woman’s Hour

Bicycle Civil War Deck

The Civil War Deck designed by Jackson Robinson, 2017.

Bicycle Civil War Deck

Tyrolean Playing Cards

Facsimile of patriotic 1878 Tyrolean playing cards published by Piatnik in 1992.

Tyrolean Playing Cards

Leipzig Exhibition Skat, 1897

“Leipziger Skat-Karte” depicting scenes from the Leipzig Industry and Trade Exhibition designed by Arthur Lewin, 1897.

Leipzig Exhibition Skat, 1897

Queen’s Silver Jubilee 1977

Queen’s Silver Jubilee playing cards designed by Susan Rae for John Wadddington Ltd, 1977

Queen’s Silver Jubilee 1977

Jeu des Drapeaux c.1816

“Jeu des Drapeaux” commemorating Napoleon’s greatest battles, c.1816.

Jeu des Drapeaux c.1816

Altenburger Bauerntrachten

“Altenburger Bauerntrachten” commemorating 150 years of playing cards from Altenburg, designed by Andreas Wachter, 1982.

Altenburger Bauerntrachten

Jeu de Cartes Napoléon

Deck created by Matéja celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Napoleon (1769-1969)

Jeu de Cartes Napoléon

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Lara Croft Tomb Raider 20 Years Commemorative Deck, 2016.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Wills 200th Anniversary

Double pack commemorating the 200th anniversary of W.D & H.O. Wills Ltd, 1786 - 1986.

Wills 200th Anniversary

Servicio de Hidrografía Naval

125th anniversary of the Argentine Naval Hydrographic Service, 2004.

Servicio de Hidrografía Naval

Millennium

‘Millennium’ limited edition playing cards by Carta Mundi, 1999

Millennium

Le Jeu des Alliés

“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945.

Le Jeu des Alliés

Première Guerre Mondiale

“Première Guerre Mondiale 1914-1918” playing cards published by Éditions J.C. Dusserre (Maitres Cartiers Boéchat Frères), Paris.

Première Guerre Mondiale

40 Years of Fear Jaws Playing Cards

This special pack celebrates the 40th anniversary of the film Jaws.

40 Years of Fear Jaws Playing Cards

Wallace & Gromit

Wallace & Gromit playing cards published by Marks & Spencer, 2009.

Wallace & Gromit

Mr. Men™

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

Mr. Men™

Prague 1908 Jubilee

This special pack of playing cards, published in 1908, was available at the Jubilee Exhibition held in Prague.

Prague 1908 Jubilee

L’union fait la force

“L’Union Fait la Force”, sometimes known as “the Allied pack”, has the four suits dedicated to the victorious nations of the Second World War.

L’union fait la force

WW1 Commemorative

In 1919 Brepols commemorated the victories of World War I with two new packs featuring portraits of Allied leaders on the court cards and famous battle scenes on the Aces.

WW1 Commemorative

26th Yankee Division

“26th Yankee Division Playing Cards” was designed by Alban B. Butler, Jr and printed by the Press of the Woolly Whale, New York, in 1933.

26th Yankee Division

Shakespeare 300th Anniversary

Shakespeare 300th Anniversary playing cards designed by John Leighton (1822-1912).

Shakespeare 300th Anniversary

Victory Deck

Victory deck commemorating the Liberation war by Friedrich Gotthelf Baumgärtner, Leipzig, 1815.

Victory Deck

Copa de Oro 1980

Naipes “Copa de Oro 1980” manufactured by Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, 1980.

Copa de Oro 1980

Jany Group

Deck issued to celebrate the Jany Group of Private Investors acquiring a controlling majority of Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten Fabriken, 1983.

Jany Group

The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards

The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards was founded by Royal Charter in 1628.

The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards