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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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3 Articles

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

72: The Ace of Spades

In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.

72: The Ace of Spades

Gibson, Hunt & Son

Gibson originally took over the business of Blanchard in 1769. Gibson & Hunt operated briefly (1801-1803) and were followed successively by Hunt & Son (1804-1821), Hunt & Sons (1821-1840), Hall (& Son), Hall & Bancks and finally Bancks Brothers (1841-89).

Gibson, Hunt & Son