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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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domino

7 Articles

Periquito y Tontín Dominoes

Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.

Periquito y Tontín Dominoes

Picture Dominoes

Pepys published a total of 8 different pictorial domino games.

Picture Dominoes

Domino Cards, c.1890

Domino Cards by Mesmaekers Frères, c.1890

Domino Cards, c.1890

Comical Dominoes

Comical Dominoes game manufactured in Germany by J. W. Spear & Sons, early 1900s

Comical Dominoes

Domino Cinematográfico

“Domino Cinematográfico” published by Talleres Gráficos Irández, Barcelona, c.1925.

Domino Cinematográfico

Carreras Ltd Playing Cards and Dominoes, 1929

Carreras Ltd miniature playing cards and dominoes, 1929

Carreras Ltd Playing Cards and Dominoes, 1929

Chinese Playing Cards

The Chinese took their cards with them wherever they travelled and traded in the East, and we find Chinese cards in use not only in the mainland but also in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, North Borneo and Vietnam.

Chinese Playing Cards