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Literature and Playing Cards


Wherever there is freedom of expression books, articles and other literary sources such as adventure stories, folk tales, historical or scientific literature have all been inspiration for artists, including designers of playing cards and educational games.

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Boekenkwartet 1970


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

Characters from Charles Dickens 1880

Characters from Charles Dickens

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

Characters of “The Water Margin” 1970

Characters of “The Water Margin”

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

Crikey! 2013


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

De La Rue Pocket Guides 1864

De La Rue Pocket Guides

The 19th Century saw the production, by all of the major companies, of pocket guides or “mini-books” on every type of game.

Dead Souls 2006

Dead Souls

Dead Souls, or “Mertvye dushi igral’nye karty” produced in 2006 by Aleksei Orleanskii.

Dickens Character Collection

Dickens Character Collection

Dickens Character Collection published for a London Casino as a promotional gift.

Dickens Snap

Dickens Snap

Dickens Snap, c.1890.

Dogs 2016


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

Don Quijote IV Centenario 2004

Don Quijote IV Centenario

Baraja IV Centenario Don Quijote is the work of artist Vicente Arnás, published by Asescoin, Madrid, 2004.

Don Quixote playing cards 2016

Don Quixote playing cards

Don Quixote playing cards designed by Nam Tibon, USA, 2016.

Dorset Dialect Trails 2015

Dorset Dialect Trails

‘Dorset Dialect Trails’ playing cards, United Kingdom, 2015.

Early History of Playing Cards & Timeline 1370

Early History of Playing Cards & Timeline

Out of an apparent void, a constellation of references in early literature emerge pointing to the sudden arrival of playing cards, principally in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy around 1370-1380. Discover the early history of playing cards in our timeline from 50AD to the 15th century.

Edgar Allan Poe Playing Cards 2014

Edgar Allan Poe Playing Cards

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

El Gato con Botas 1981

El Gato con Botas

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

Eneida 2011


This pack was designed by Oksana Ternavska and first published in 2011 as a supplement to the book "Eneida", a poem written by Ivan Kotliarevsky in 1798.

EPCS August 1998 Newsletter

EPCS August 1998 Newsletter Members Only

Stained Glass Windows: Lewis Carroll • Isle of Man Packs • Hand Decorated Transformation Pack • Happy Families: Cadbury MISFITZ • World Cup 1998 • New Issues: MISFITZ • Lyons Corner Houses: NIPPIES • Jovial Families: G.BROS Ltd • WG Grace Anniversary • English Standard Card Manufacturers • Nursery Rhyme Snap: Mother Goose • World of Alice: Lewis Carroll • De La Rue: Walt Disney Packs • SNAP: Geraldine Goodwin • Non Standard Pack: De La Rue Denmark 1950

EPCS February 2024 Newsletter

EPCS February 2024 Newsletter Members Only

Lenthall's Delightful Cards • Cards supposedly by Wheeler • No, It Isn't an Early Wheeler • Chloe Campbell's Wren Cards • Speed: the Motor Cards • “Melox” Happy Families • Playing Cards for the Pegu Club • Military Card Backs • The Worshipful Company • Cards 2023-24 • The Blitz and Wartime Card Production in Britain • Henry Reason's Game of Parliament • Aesop's Fables

EPCS May 1991 Newsletter

EPCS May 1991 Newsletter Members Only

Royal Residence: Buckingham Palace • Alf Cooke and Universal • Rupert Bear • SPELIT Lyon's Tea • Steamship SS Great Britain • 1980 & 1981 Worshipful Company Packs • CWS SNAP • Thomas De La Rue • OXO • Primrose Day • Harrods • Tonic to the Nation • The Festival of Britain 1951

Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales

German Fairy Tales Card Game.