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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:

jugendstil

18 Articles

Liberty

Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

Liberty

Art Nouveau

Elegant gold-printed playing cards in Jugendstil style designed by Otto Benz for Renault, 1987

Art Nouveau

1900 Jeu de Cartes

‘Jeu de Cartes 1900’ designed by Marie Christine Schira in the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil style, 1979.

1900 Jeu de Cartes

Jugendstil Tarock

‘Jugendstil Tarock’ was designed by Ditha Moser and first published by Albert Berger and Josef Glanz in 1906.

Jugendstil Tarock

Jugendstil Art Nouveau Bridge

“Jugendstil Art Nouveau” Bridge Nr.2136 published by Piatnik, 1980.

Jugendstil Art Nouveau Bridge

World Bridge

‘World Bridge’ produced by Modiano in Trieste, Italy, since around 1950.

World Bridge

Nederlandsche Oliefabriek

This beautiful quartet game from Holland illustrates the strange life cycle of the peanut.

Nederlandsche Oliefabriek

Otto Tragy Jugendstil Spielkarten

Special Jugendstil playing cards designed by Otto Tragy and first published by Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik Schneider & Co. in c.1898.

Otto Tragy Jugendstil Spielkarten

Luxus Skatkarten

The cards are from a facsimile edition published by F. X. Schmid, Munich, in 1981. The artist is unknown, but the artwork follows the tradition of German playing card design and conveys a vivid sense of emotion, sensuality and vitality.

Luxus Skatkarten

New Era No.46

“New Era No.46”, based around European fashions, was soon followed with “Circus No.47”, “Hustling Joe No.61” and “Ye Witches No.62”.

New Era No.46

Schweizer Luxus-Jasskarte No.41

The lower and upper knaves are depicted in a vibrant and lively manner, while the enthroned kings are more ponderous. The traditional Swiss Shield court cards also have beer tankards with a barrel on the Deuce.

Schweizer Luxus-Jasskarte No.41

Ceska Graficka Unie AS

Playing Cards printed by Ceska Graficka Unie AS, Czechia, Prague, 1890-1925.

Ceska Graficka Unie AS

Granbergs No.101 Standardkort

Olle Hjortzberg (1872-1959) designed these playing cards for Granbergs AB in c.1924 in ‘Art Nouveau’ style.

Granbergs No.101 Standardkort

Jeu de Cartes No.1

Henri Meunier was a Belgian Art Nouveau lithographer, etcher, illustrator, bookbinder and poster designer of the Belle Époque. His first introduction to art was in his father's workshop; then he completed his art studies at the Academy d'Ixelles.

Jeu de Cartes No.1