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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:

geography

15 Articles

Lever Brothers miniatures

Two miniature card games promoting Vim Scouring Powder and Sunshine Soap, 1930s.

Lever Brothers miniatures

Chief Cities Quartettes

Hand-made ‘Chief Cities Quartettes’ card game, c.1910.

Chief Cities Quartettes

Skits

Skits, an instructive card game which sharpens the wits, c.1900.

Skits

Geographical Playing Cards, c.1682

Geographical playing cards sold by Henry Brome, second edition, c.1682.

Geographical Playing Cards, c.1682

Counties of England 4th Series

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

Counties of England 4th Series

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.

Jeu de la Géographie

Game of Cities

Game of Cities published by E.E Fairchild Co, 1932.

Game of Cities

Mapit

“Mapit” war map card game published by Geographia Ltd, 55 Fleet Street, London E.C., c.1940s.

Mapit

Countries of the World

“Countries of the World” published by H.P. Gibson & Sons, Ltd, c.1939.

Countries of the World

Round the World

Round the World card game published by Pepys, 1961.

Round the World

Population

The game of Population was first published by the Fireside Game Co., Cincinnati, USA (a division of United States Playing Card Co), in c.1896

Population

L’Utile col Diletto

Geographical and Heraldic Tarocchi cards from Bologna, 1725.

L’Utile col Diletto

Charles Hodges

Charles Hodges produced engraved geographical and astronomical decks, London, c.1827-30.

Charles Hodges

Robert Morden’s Playing Cards

The 52 Counties of England and Wales described as a pack of cards first published in London in 1676.

Robert Morden’s Playing Cards