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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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15 Articles
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26th Yankee Division

“26th Yankee Division Playing Cards” was designed by Alban B. Butler, Jr and printed by the Press of the Woolly Whale, New York, in 1933. • Mar 15, 2013

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Anheuser-Busch Army & Navy

This deck is commonly known as the “Anheuser-Busch Spanish-American War deck”, issued at the end of the war. • Mar 20, 2013

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Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces, 1942. • Feb 11, 2021

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Army & Navy No.303

Over the years eight different Aces of Spades were used with this brand and the Joker was also modified several times. • Mar 06, 2013

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Army No.303

The Joker is particularly persuasive, whilst the Ace of Spades has a battle scene involving artillery, with Navy ships in the distance and the statue of the goddess of Freedom in the middle. • Mar 04, 2013

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ARRCO Playing Card Co., Chicago, c.1935 - c.1970s. • Feb 01, 2015

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Bavarian Military Cards

The King of Acorns is supposed to represent Prince Otto; the King of Leaves is Maximilian II; the King of Bells is Ludwig II; the King of Hearts is Ludwig I wearing a general's uniform. The court cards are all male, but some of the numeral cards depict women. • Mar 24, 2013

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Cavalry Game

The “Cavalry Game” manufactured by Thomas de la Rue & Co Ltd, c.1900-10 • Nov 08, 2015

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Military Pin Up

Military Pin Up created by Sviatoslay Pashchuk (Ukraine) 2019. • Jun 26, 2019

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Naval and Military Families

Naval and Military Families produced by Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg, printed by Ernst Nister of Nuremberg, c.1905-10. • Jul 30, 2020

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On Guard

On Guard military card game published by J. Jaques & Son, c.1880. • Jul 13, 2019

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Ordnance Recognition

Ordnance Recognition Playing Cards cards designed to help people at risk from unexploded bombs • Mar 03, 2015

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Patriotic Misfitz

Patriotic Misfitz published by C.W Faulkner & Co, Ltd, c.1906. • Feb 24, 2019

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Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith • Sep 06, 2021

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“Victory” by Pepys Games, a splendid game with caricatures of British and German leaders, published in 1940. • Jun 16, 2016