The History of Playing Cards
Playing Cards have been around in Europe since the 1370s. Some early packs were hand painted works of art which were expensive and affordable only by the wealthy. But as demand increased cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone...
Medieval View of Gambling in the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Jheronimus Bosch
The court cards in English packs of playing cards derive from models produced by Pierre Marechal in Rouen around 1565. A pack of such cards is preserved in the museum at Rouen.
The History of English Playing Cards dates probably from the mid 15th century
Online casinos appeared shortly after the internet became a more mainstream tool for the public to use
Video by Art of Impossible. In this video you will get a short overview of the most important historical facts about playing cards and their history.
Playing cards had been made as precious objects for wealthy clients since the late 14th century. They were made to look at, admire and to keep in curiosity cabinets, or perhaps to entertain ladies or educate children rather than to play with.
Illustrated playing cards featuring comical engravings and rhymes about saints, c.1740.
EL CONGRESO DE COLOMBIA. LEY 69 DE 1946, por la cual se elevan las tarifas de algunos impuestos indirectos y se dictan otras disposiciones.
Facsimile of Tarot de Marseille by Iohann Christoph Hes, Augsburg, c.1750.
The first reliable evidence that playing cards were being used in Italy is from 1376, when a game called 'naibbe' is forbidden in a decree, with the implication that the game had only recently been introduced there.
“Jeu de Géographie” educational playing cards etched by Stefano Della Bella (1610-1664) and published by Henry le Gras, c.1644.
Facsimile edition of Swiss suited deck first published by Johannes Müller in c.1840.
John Llewellyn, playing card manufacturer, London, 1778-1785
Peter Schencken of Amsterdam copied the "Jeu de la Guerre" or "Das Kriegs-Spiel" (with German captions) originated by Gilles de La Boissière and published by Mariette in 1668 in Paris.
The origins of the Lombardy pattern probably lie in the early 19th century when it was a full-length design. It has some affinities with the French Provence and Lyons patterns which are now obsolete.
This pattern was used in various parts of eastern France but was ultimately replaced by the official ‘Paris’ pattern in c.1780.
The so-called ‘Dragon Cards’, with winged monsters on the four Aces, are an enigmatic aspect of early playing card history.
Nã'ib, the game of lieutenants... these cards are amongst the earliest Arabic playing cards extant.
Spanish-suited playing cards made on rawhide and said to have been used by Chilean Mapuche Indians, XVI-XVII century
Playing Cards by the Master of the Banderoles, one of the earliest professional printmakers, c.1470.
Animal suited playing cards engraved by the Master of the Playing Cards, Germany, c.1455
Mathematical Instruments playing cards forming an instrument maker's trade catalogue, Thomas Tuttell, c.1700.
These two uncoloured, uncut sheets of early Moorish playing cards were formerly preserved in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona.
Naipes Artiguistas published in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Rios province (Argentina) in 1816, by Fray Solano García.