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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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Education

88 Articles
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Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables playing cards by I. Kirk, c.1759. • Sep 26, 2019

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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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Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces, 1942. • Feb 11, 2021

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Anno Mundi

Anno Mundi: an early Jaques game described as ‘scripture recreation for the young’ with events in the Bible, c.1875. • Jan 27, 2018

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Arms of English Peers

The Arms of English Peers playing cards were first published in 1686. Heraldry, or a knowledge of the arms and blazons of royalty was an important part of a respectable education. • Apr 04, 2016

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Army Health Promotion

Health Promotion playing cards issued by the British Army with cartoons about army life and information on where to get health advice. • Aug 28, 2015

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Atouts de la Vie

“Atouts de la Vie” wartime card game created by Madame Lucien Willemetz, c.1940. • Feb 08, 2019

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Bedeutende Erfindungen im Alltag

‘Significant Inventions in Everyday Life’ quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1979. • Feb 07, 2021

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Bio-Pack

Bio-Pack flashcards produced for Thai biology students • Jan 02, 2016

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Botany Quartetts

Botany card game published by Houlston and Wright & Henry Greenwood, c.1860. • Oct 30, 2020

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Caledonian Airways “European Phrases”

“European Phrase” playing cards produced for Caledonian Airways, 1994. • Apr 07, 2016

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Card Games

Children's games are distinct from ordinary playing cards, with their most obvious difference being the lack of any court cards or suit marks. • Jan 13, 2011

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Castles Quartet

“Castles” Quartet Illustrated by Vladimir Kovářík • Apr 20, 2015

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Cavalry Game

The “Cavalry Game” manufactured by Thomas de la Rue & Co Ltd, c.1900-10 • Nov 08, 2015

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Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos. • May 22, 2021

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Children’s Vocabulary Cards

Thai Children’s Colour Vocabulary Cards promoting Ovaltine chocolate malt drink, 2016 • Nov 30, 2016

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Chitrashala Press

Chitrashala Press produced some charming children's pictorial alphabet cards for early learning purposes in the 1940s. • Aug 11, 2013

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Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain by John Jaques & Son Ltd. c.1930. • Mar 16, 2021

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Counties of England 4th Series

Jaques' Counties of England card game, 4th Series (Southern Counties), c.1910. • Oct 25, 2017

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Countries of Empire

“Countries of Empire” published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1930s. • Feb 16, 2021

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Desperanto

Desperanto language game by Qui Vive Ltd, c.1990. • Feb 13, 2018

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Deutsche Geschichte

German History Quartet published by Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg, c.1930-35. • Jun 29, 2019

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Educación Vial

Educación Vial (Road Safety) card game published by H. Fournier, 1995. • Jul 23, 2020

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EduStack

EduStack is a team from India passionate about gaming and education that has created two sets of custom playing cards about Maths and Astronomy • Dec 10, 2015

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Eurotrotter

Eurotrotter by La Ducale, c.1980s. • Mar 17, 2021

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Fair Play cross cultural playing cards

“Fair Play” cross cultural playing cards illustrated by Canadian artist Stephen B. MacInnes • Apr 19, 2017

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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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Fish Playing Cards

Fish Playing Cards by Bamboo (Parksons Press). • Aug 09, 2016

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Food Exchange

“Food Exchange“ playing cards designed by Ralph Dobson for the British Diabetic Association, 1973. • Mar 19, 2016

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Forrest Cards, c.1750s

Hand-coloured Forrest Cards produced for “Young Gentlemen & Ladys who are Lovers of Ingenuity”, c.1750s. • Sep 02, 2017

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French for Fun

French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s • Mar 19, 2021

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Geistliche Karten

Geistliche Karten, Augsburg, 1718. Each card carries a text in Gothic typeface giving advice regarding what to do and think each day. Not quite oracle or divination cards, they are more like 'a motto for the day' collection. The method of using the cards is not known. • Sep 09, 2010

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Geographical Playing Cards, c.1682

Geographical playing cards sold by Henry Brome, second edition, c.1682. • Nov 03, 2017

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Geschichte des Buchgewerbes

Geschichte des Buchgewerbes illustrated by Ludwig Winkler, published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck. • Apr 16, 2021

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Graf Zeppelin

A card game commemorating the first round the world flight by the Graf Zeppelin, published by J.W. Spear & Söhne, Nuremberg, in 1930. • Apr 05, 2014

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Happy Guides

Happy Guides by James Brown & Son (Glasgow) Ltd. around 1910/1915. • Oct 03, 2020

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Hide & Seek with the Kings & Queens of England

Hide & Seek with the Kings & Queens of England by John Jaques & Son, c.1875. • Nov 26, 2017

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Historic Ships

“Historic Ships” quartet game from Czechoslovakia illustrated by Jaromír Vraštil • May 22, 2015

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Historische Verkehrswege

“Historische Verkehrswege” quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pössneck, 1988. • Feb 18, 2020

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History of Flight

“History of Aviation” playing cards published by Lo Scarabeo (2003) in which every card carries a painting representing an aspect of the history of powered flight • May 05, 2015

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Iddy Umpty

“Iddy Umpty” card game based around learning to read the Morse Code Alphabet. by Thomas de la Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1905 • Nov 21, 2015

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In Castle Land

The Game of ‘In Castle Land’ (No.1113) published by The Fireside Game Co., Cincinnati, 1896. • May 26, 2015

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J. W. Spear and Sons: ‘Zoology’

Quartet games with scientific illustrations became popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. J. W. Spear and Sons Zoology quartet game is a lesson in natural history. • Sep 23, 2015

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Jaime Margarit - Recreo Infantil

'Recreo Infantil' children's educational cards published by Jaime Margarit, Palamós (Gerona) c.1888 • Aug 31, 2013

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Jeu de la Géographie

“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644. • Oct 18, 2017

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Klipp Klapp Karten

“Klipp Klapp Karten” printed by KZWP-Trefl (Poland) for Kindermuseum Oelde (Germany) in 2004 • Dec 01, 2014

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Learn Thai

“Learn Thai” cards published by Lanna Innovation Co. Ltd, 2009. • Jan 06, 2016

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Lexicon

The summer of 1932 saw the introduction of Lexicon, when a small edition was produced and sold to test the market. • Aug 29, 2015

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Lingo Pix

Lingo Pix Tourist Picture Cards by TM Cards, India, 2006 • Apr 13, 2015

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Math Stack

“Math Stack” playing cards designed by Diana Stanciulescu, illustrating and explaining 36 important mathematical constants, published by EduStack in India • Dec 21, 2015

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Mauclair Dacier Familles

This “Jeu de Sept Familles” was produced by Mauclair Dacier in the late 19th century. • Mar 27, 2014