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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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Genoese pattern

12 Articles

Brazil Pictorial Aces

Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.

Brazil Pictorial Aces

Biermans Genoese pattern

Biermans Genoese pattern for Clayson agricultural machinery, late 1960s.

Biermans Genoese pattern

Genovesi Pattern

Genoese pattern from Italy.

Genovesi Pattern

Jean Borin

‘Cartes de Luxe’ with artwork by Belgian artist and designer Jean Borin (1907-1997).

Jean Borin

Ronia Genoese Pattern

‘Ronia’ Genoese Pattern made in Hungary for the Dutch market, c.1970

Ronia Genoese Pattern

Brepols Genoese pattern

“Cartes Françaises” and Genoese pattern by Brepols.

Brepols Genoese pattern

Eldar by Memco

‘Eldar’ upholstery fabrics advertising deck by Middle East Manufacturing Co of Beirut, Lebanon, c.1960.

Eldar by Memco

Artex Quadrilato for Tunisia

Artex Quadrilato No.333 for Tunisia

Artex Quadrilato for Tunisia

Standard Genoese

Van Genechten manufactured playing cards in various styles, including specially customised versions for commercial clients wishing to advertise their own brands on the cards.

Standard Genoese

Genoese pattern

The design is purely 'Parisian' but the colouring is green, red, yellow and black. Belgium has taken this pattern for general use.

Genoese pattern

Naipes Side Car - Genoese type

Naipes Side Car - Genoese type.

Naipes Side Car - Genoese type

Biermans for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru

Standard Genoese pattern with French indices made by Biermans for Cigarrillo Holiday and the Estanco de Naipes del Perú.

Biermans for the Estanco de Naipes del Peru