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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:

erotic

19 Articles

The Art of Pin-Up decks

Feminine beauty has been appreciated since prehistory.

The Art of Pin-Up decks

Eroticartes

Eroticartes with drawings by Pino Zac, 1983.

Eroticartes

Tease Me

‘Tease Me’ 1960s glamour pack.

Tease Me

54 Pin-up Motivs

Hungarian pin-up deck illustrated by Imre Sebök, c.1960.

54 Pin-up Motivs

Amorous Translucent Playing Cards

Amorous Translucent Playing Cards, French, c.1850.

Amorous Translucent Playing Cards

El Tripero

Hand-drawn semi-erotic, satirical playing cards by Lautaro Fiszman ‘El Tripero’, 2002.

El Tripero

Translucent Playing Cards

Translucent Playing Cards, 19th century French from the Biedermeier period

Translucent Playing Cards

Mayall Press Art Studies

Photographic playing cards - each face having an "art study" of a female nude, Mayall Press, Stockwell, London, c.1946.

Mayall Press Art Studies

What the Butler Saw

“What the Butler Saw” playing cards depicting tasteful photography of the female body.

What the Butler Saw

Olivia’s Lucky Ladies

“Olivia’s Lucky Ladies” glamour model playing cards produced by Ozone Productions Ltd, USA, 2004

Olivia’s Lucky Ladies

Shapely

“Shapely” non-standard adult playing cards manufactured by Angel Playing Cards Co., Japan, 1980

Shapely

Japanese Women

Japanese Women playing cards in an idealised and erotic style by Keiichi Takasawa (1914-1984).

Japanese Women

Hafez Fortune Telling Cards

Fortune Tellers use the Hafez Cards by interpreting the Hāfez poems printed on the card backs when cards are selected randomly by their consultants.

Hafez Fortune Telling Cards

Mémoires de Casanova

Mémoires de Casanova artistic and lightly risqué playing cards with paintings by Paul-Émile Bécat, published by Éditions Philibert, Paris, c.1960.

Mémoires de Casanova

Translucent Erotic Playing Cards, page 2

Translucent Erotic Playing Cards, page 2

Translucent Erotic Playing Cards, page 2

Translucent Playing Cards, c.1850

Cards from a translucent pack. Erotic images are concealed in the middle layer of the card and become visible when held up to a light.

Translucent Playing Cards, c.1850