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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.

Browsing keyword:

Costume

38 Articles
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Andere Zeiten - Andere Kleider

‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954. • May 18, 2021

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Baraja Andaluza

Non-standard Spanish-suited playing cards created by Rafael Rodriguez Hernandez and published by Ediciones Baja Andalucia, Sevilla, c.1980. • Aug 23, 2013

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Bathing Beauties

Bathing Beauties throughout the ages, published in Hungary, 1967. • Mar 18, 2020

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Cartes Parisiennes

The courts are full-length figures of English historical personages. • Feb 06, 2013

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Casais Portugueses

Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies • Dec 12, 2019

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Chinese Costumes

Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984. • Dec 27, 2020

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Chinese Dragon Robes

Deck featuring 54 different images of Chinese Dragon Robes that emperors, empresses and royal family members wear on important occasions • Aug 19, 2015

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Comtesse

“Comtesse” by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1960s. • Jan 08, 2017

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Dames de France

“Dames de France” published by J-M Simon based on originals by Armand Gustave Houbigant, Paris, c.1817 • Jul 21, 2017

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Daveluy

Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. Many of his playing cards have historical connotations and show figures with a landscape background. • Mar 20, 2014

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Dr Who Adventures

‘Doctor Who Adventures’ is a weekly magazine aimed at younger readers. From time to time free playing cards are included with the magazine • May 14, 2015

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El Aguila

Naipes ‘El Aguila’ with flamboyantly dressed court figures made in Mexico by La Cubana S.A., c.1975 • Sep 20, 2016

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El Rodeo Talabartería

Promotional playing cards produced for ‘El Rodeo Talabartería’ specialising in leather goods and clothing, Buenos Aires, c.2006. • Jun 22, 2016

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Fancy Dress Ball

Spear’s “Fancy Dress Ball” card game with children dressed in period costumes, 1930s. • Jun 21, 2020

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Far East

Far East playing cards with designs by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano, c.1980 • Oct 09, 2017

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Fashion Face Off

“Fashion Face Off” card game illustrated by Erin Petson for Laurence King Publishing, c.2011. • Jan 13, 2018

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Folk Cards

Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962. • Oct 04, 2021

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Happy Families of the Nations

Happy Families of the Nations published by Pepys Games, 1958. • Sep 15, 2015

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Jeu de Costumes Historiques

These cards are from neatly etched plates, and are carefully coloured. The court cards present full-length figures in character costumes. • Feb 06, 2013

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Jeu des Rois de France

This beautifully engraved and pleasing deck designed in 1856 has French Kings and consorts as the Kings and Queens, with noble attendants as the Jacks, all dressed in magnificent period costumes. • Feb 11, 2013

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La Suisse Historique Swiss Cantons souvenir

A masterpiece in the genre of tourist souvenir decks, “La Suisse Historique” Swiss Cantons souvenir designed by Melchior Annen in c.1920 • Nov 30, 2015

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Marguerite

Each court figure is richly decorated and holding something different: a letter, a wreath, a quill pen, a mace, a bird, a flower, a cushion, a goblet, a flute, etc. • May 29, 2013

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Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots and other Tudor period dignitaries, published by Piatnik, 1990. • Jul 05, 2018

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Matyó-Bridge No.50

The court cards in this delightful Art Deco pack represent persons in various colourfully embroidered folkloric costumes. Designed by Hungarian artist Ilona Radnainé Szöredi. • Mar 21, 2013

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Moyen-Age by Daveluy

Cartes Moyen-Age by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1875 • Mar 20, 2014

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Netherlands Kostuum Kwartet

Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983. • May 16, 2021

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New Figures by A. I. Charlemagne, 1862

“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862. • Jan 09, 2020

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O. Gibert, Paris c.1840-60

Gibert was a master card-maker whose fashionable playing cards were of a very high standard. • Jan 01, 1970

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Orija Nr.20

Reprint of “Lettische Trachten” deck first published in Latvia in 1918. • Jun 12, 2012

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Österreichisches Trachten-quartett

Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne. • Apr 18, 2021

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Provinces de France

Jeu des Provinces de France published by Éditions Dusserre, 1979. • Sep 10, 2017

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Regional Costumes

Spanish regional costumes and coats-of-arms; cute illustrations on each card, 1986. • Sep 15, 2013

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Rococo Playing Cards

Piatnik’s Rococo style playing cards issued as “Rococo Patience”, “Luxus-Patience”, “Empire Patience”, “White Horse Patience”, “Patience-Whist No.140”, “Mini Patience” and “Lady Patience” • Aug 23, 2016

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Russian Slavic Costumes

Russian style “Slavic Costumes” playing cards first published in 1911 • Jun 24, 2014

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Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf. • Oct 18, 2018

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Slavonic

Originally published as “Slavonic Cards No.501” by The Colour Printing Plant, St. Petersburg, in the 1920s • Jul 13, 2014

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St Hubert’s Bridge

“St Hubert’s Bridge” published by Éditions Philibert, Paris, c.1956 • May 20, 2016

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Swiss Regional Costumes Playing Cards, c.1890

This Swiss Regional Costume pack can be seen as an early form of tourist souvenir which subsequently developed into the photographic souvenir pack. • Jan 01, 1970