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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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Literary Figures 1924

Literary Figures

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

Martín Fierro 2000

Martín Fierro

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

Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board

Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board

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

New Style ‘Jugendstil’ 1911

New Style ‘Jugendstil’

Playing cards showing the influence of ‘Jugendstil’ manufactured by the Soviet Playing Card Monopoly (U.S.S.R.).

Noddy Happy Families

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.

Old Testament playing cards 2012

Old Testament playing cards

Old Testament playing cards with illustrations by Jan Padover, USA, 2012.

On The Cards 2019

On The Cards

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

Pinocchio playing cards 1997

Pinocchio playing cards

Comic book drawings inspired by Carlo Collodi’s children’s classic, Pinocchio.

Pushkin 1999


Pack designed by M. Rydaeva celebrating the 200th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin’s birth.

San Paolo Chekhov 1983

San Paolo Chekhov

Characters from Chekhov’s plays designed by Paolo Fresu for San Paolo Istituto Bancario, Italy, c.1983.

Scientific American

Scientific American

‘Scientific American’ playing cards depicting 19th century illustrations of inventions.

Shakespeare finely illustrated playing cards

Shakespeare finely illustrated playing cards

Shakespeare playing cards with illustrations by Sir John Gilbert RA, United Kingdom.

Shakespeare Playing Cards 2023

Shakespeare Playing Cards

Kickstarter-funded modern remake of the 1902 classic pack, perfect for Shakespeare (1564-1616) and literature fans.

Shakespeare Playing Cards 1895

Shakespeare Playing Cards

Shakespeare Playing Cards pack published in the 1890s with original paintings are by John H. Bacon.

Shakespeare playing cards: Insults 2005

Shakespeare playing cards: Insults

Shakespeare Insults playing cards with portraits by Jan Padover, USA, 2005.

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes 2004

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes, the first volume of a double set published by Prospero Art of San Francisco, 2004.

Shakespearean 1932


Shakespearean Playing Cards designed by Frederick Colin Tilney, made by John Waddington Limited, 1932-3.

Sherlock Holmes 1989

Sherlock Holmes

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

Sherlock Holmes illustrated playing cards

Sherlock Holmes illustrated playing cards

Sherlock Holmes playing cards with illustrations by Sidney Paget, United Kingdom

Sherlock Holmes Playing Cards 2013

Sherlock Holmes Playing Cards

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