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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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Conjuring and Magic

15 Articles

The art of mystifying people is very old indeed. The first conjurers were priests who obtained power over simple minds by performing magical tricks which appeared to have a supernatural origin.

Conjuring and Magic

The art of mystifying people is very old indeed. The first conjurers were priests who obtained power over simple minds by performing magical tricks which appeared to have a supernatural origin.

Conjuring and Magic

Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.

Martin Mystère

Conjuring Decks

Conjuring Decks by Universal Playing Card Co (Alf Cooke) and others...

Conjuring Decks

De Land’s Nifty playing cards

De Land’s Nifty playing cards published by S. S. Adams Co, c.1930.

De Land’s Nifty playing cards

Catalogue of Magic Card Tricks

Gamagic Catalogue of Magic Card Tricks, c.1940. Everyone is familiar with playing cards, which makes them a ready medium for magical performance.

Catalogue of Magic Card Tricks

Stancraft “Split Deck”

Stancraft “Split Deck”, 1979.

Stancraft “Split Deck”

Magic Poker Cards

“Magic Poker Cards” are often found inside Christmas crackers along with party hats, puzzles and jokes...

Magic Poker Cards

Secret Magic Cards

‘Secret Magic Cards’ published by Hanky Panky Toys Thailand Ltd., © World Magic International, 2006.

Secret Magic Cards

Ridley’s Magic Trick Cards

Ridley’s Magic Trick Cards, 2011.

Ridley’s Magic Trick Cards

Mad Jack Miracle Pack

Mad Jack Miracle Pack by Chu’s Magic (Tobar) 1999.

Mad Jack Miracle Pack

Serpentine

‘Serpentine’ Playing Cards published by Legends P.C.Co., 2014.

Serpentine

The Cardini Playing Cards

Richard Valentine Pitchford, better known as Cardini, is one of that select band of performers who became legends during their own lifetimes

The Cardini Playing Cards

Legends Playing Cards

Legends Playing Card Company (founded 2013) aspires to print the highest quality playing cards and packaging in the world.

Legends Playing Cards

Dragon Fanning Deck

This set of cards published by DP Group Ltd (Japan) allows the performer to create different fans

Dragon Fanning Deck

Conjuring and Magic

The art of mystifying people is very old indeed. The first conjurers were priests who obtained power over simple minds by performing magical tricks which appeared to have a supernatural origin.

Conjuring and Magic

Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards

Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards, c.1850.

Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards