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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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literature

40 Articles

Alice

Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

Alice

Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.

Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

El Gato con Botas

Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.

El Gato con Botas

Crikey!

Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.

Crikey!

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989

Sherlock Holmes

Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950.

Gulliver’s Travels

Authors

Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Authors

Dickens Snap

Dickens Snap, c.1890.

Dickens Snap

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, published by Jeux et Jouets Français. Paris, early 1900s.

La Mariée du Mardi-Gras

Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board

Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board by Tony Hall.

Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board

Wonderland Misfitz

Wonderland Misfitz by C.W. Faulkner & Co. Ltd, c.1908.

Wonderland Misfitz

World of Harry Potter

World of Harry Potter playing cards produced by Winning Moves under Waddingtons Number 1 brand, 2019.

World of Harry Potter

Boekenkwartet

Boekenkwartet featuring illustrations from children's books, 1970s.

Boekenkwartet

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.

Alice in Wonderland

Martín Fierro

Naipes “Martín Fierro” based on the epic poem by José Hernandez.

Martín Fierro

On The Cards

A Motley Pack - transformation playing cards & ‘On The Cards’ book facsimile published by Sunish Chabba, 2019.

On The Cards

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

Characters of “The Water Margin”

Characters from the Chinese novel “The Water Margin” - 水滸撲克.

Characters of “The Water Margin”

Le Avventure di Pinocchio

Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.

Le Avventure di Pinocchio

Beatrix Potter’s Rummy

Beatrix Potter’s Rummy published by Gibsons Games, c.1985.

Beatrix Potter’s Rummy

Hogwarts

Harry Potter Hogwarts playing cards, c.2016.

Hogwarts

Biggles

Biggles card game published by Pepys Games in 1955 based on the popular books by Capt W E Johns.

Biggles

Just William

Just William, drawn by Thomas Henry, published by Pepys Games in 1952.

Just William

Dogs

‘Dogs’ playing cards showcases 52 canine portraits in four suits as authors, artists, musicians and film stars, illustrated by Chet Phillips, 2016

Dogs

Game of Thrones

“Game of Thrones” playing cards are an official fan deck associated with the HBO adaptation of the books by George R.R. Martin.

Game of Thrones

Jacqueline Wilson Playing Cards

“Jacqueline Wilson” playing cards were illustrated by Nick Sharratt and published by Winning Moves UK Ltd in 2007.

Jacqueline Wilson Playing Cards

Characters from Charles Dickens

“Characters from Charles Dickens” card game published by Jaques & Son, c.1880.

Characters from Charles Dickens

Baraja Literaria

“Baraja Literaria” Spanish pack with cartoons by Serafín, published by Asescoin and manufactured by Naipes Comas, 2002.

Baraja Literaria

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland card game based on original designs by Sir John Tenniel published by Thomas De la Rue & Co. Ltd, c.1900

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Snap

Alice in Wonderland “Snap” 1 penny game from 1920s or 30s, made in Germany, anonymous manufacturer.

Alice in Wonderland Snap

Fairy Tales

German Fairy Tales Card Game.

Fairy Tales

Edgar Allan Poe Playing Cards

A Kickstarter campaign for a fine deck of playing cards inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Playing Cards

Sherlock Holmes Playing Cards

Three fine deck of playing cards inspired by the characters and stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sherlock Holmes Playing Cards

Noddy Happy Families

Enid Blyton’s Noddy Happy Families was published in 1955 by Sampson Low, 25 Gilbert Street, London W.1., manufactured in Great Britain.

Noddy Happy Families

Literary Figures

Non-Standard Literary Figures playing cards manufactured by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne A.G., Vienna, 1924.

Literary Figures

Harry Potter

Harry Potter Spanish-suited deck made in Argentina, c.2001.

Harry Potter

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards - Lisbon

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards