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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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dynasties

5 Articles

Dynastie Royale de Belgique

Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.

Dynastie Royale de Belgique

Peterhof

“Peterhof” deck manufactured at the Leningrad Colour Printing Plant in 1999.

Peterhof

Vasa Dynasty

The House of Vasa was the royal house of Sweden 1523–1654 and subsequent rulers have emphasized their Vasa descent through a female line

Vasa Dynasty

Historical playing cards, 1897

Russian “Historical” playing cards with designs by Nikolay Karazin, 1897

Historical playing cards, 1897