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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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miniature

58 Articles

Miniature Playing Cards from around the world.

Bone Playing Cards

My late mother found these miniature cards in a skip around 50 years ago.

Bone Playing Cards

Panto People

Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Panto People

Hats-Off!

Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Hats-Off!

Zoo-Boots

Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Zoo-Boots

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.

Gibbs Happy Families

Lever Brothers miniatures

Two miniature card games promoting Vim Scouring Powder and Sunshine Soap, 1930s.

Lever Brothers miniatures

Patience Cards and their Boxes

Patience Cards and their Boxes by Tony Hall.

Patience Cards and their Boxes

Spider Solitaire

Spider Solitaire is a free web site offering new versions of the classic solitaire card game

Spider Solitaire

Barribal patience

Waddington’s Patience Cards from the Barribal Series, c.1929.

Barribal patience

Hansa-Karte

Bechstein design reprinted by Vereinigte Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken AG former Schneider & Co., c1925.

Hansa-Karte

Bucktrout & Co. Ltd

Half-sized cigarette playing cards published by Bucktrout & Co., Ltd (Guernsey) c.1930.

Bucktrout & Co. Ltd

Tesseract Mobile Solitaire Games

Tesseract Mobile’s new Solitaire card games for Android devices features dynamic playing cards that change style...

Tesseract Mobile Solitaire Games

Prince of Wales National Relief Fund 1914

A two-pack patience set produced by Thomas De la Rue on behalf of the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund in 1914.

Prince of Wales National Relief Fund 1914

Piccadilly Patience

Piccadilly Patience by Piatnik, c.1955

Piccadilly Patience

Nestlé ‘Happy Families’

‘Happy Families’ published by Nestlé in 1935.

Nestlé ‘Happy Families’

F. X. Schmid Mini-Patience

Miniature Patience playing cards in Rococo style published by F. X. Schmid, c.1960

F. X. Schmid Mini-Patience

British American Tobacco patience

Patience deck for British American Tobacco printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland c.1940

British American Tobacco patience

Magic Poker Cards

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

Magic Poker Cards

Permalon Ltd

Miniature playing cards advertising "Perma" smoking-related products featuring the "Perma Girl" on the backs and Joker.

Permalon Ltd

Czech Patience Cards

Patience size playing cards published by Obchodni Tiskarny of Prague, under the brand “Casino”, with cartoon courts in the style of wood engravings.

Czech Patience Cards

Miniature Disney deck

Mickey Mouse card game is part of a promotion for Rübezahl Schokoladen GmbH (Germany).

Miniature Disney deck

Wills Scheme

The W.D & H.O. Wills Playing Card promotion of the early 1930s

Wills Scheme

Billiken Minicartas

Children’s toy cards published in Argentina by Editorial Atlántida in the magazine “Billiken”, 1964.

Billiken Minicartas

Collecting Playing Cards

How I began Collecting Playing Cards by Robert S. Lancaster

Collecting Playing Cards

Goodall & Son’s Patience & Miniature packs

Goodall & Son’s Patience & Miniature packs came in various styles of box and back design, c.1890-1930.

Goodall & Son’s Patience & Miniature packs

Modiano Patience

Patience cards published by Modiano, c.1945.

Modiano Patience

Birkel Schwarzer Peter

The Birkel company has produced several promotional “Schwarzer Peter” packs over the years and this one is themed on the circus.

Birkel Schwarzer Peter

Pop Rocky

“Pop Rocky” miniature playing cards with double-ended caricatures of celebrities and pop stars, originally published inside a magazine, c.1970.

Pop Rocky

Kamarát Toy Cards

Kamarát miniature toy playing cards from Czechoslovakia.

Kamarát Toy Cards

Wüst Oval Patience

C. L. Wüst Oval Patience Karten No. 240, beautifully printed by chromolithography, c.1910.

Wüst Oval Patience

Einar Nerman Patience

Einar Nerman (1888–1983) was a talented Swedish artist born in Norrköping who designed playing cards during the 1920s.

Einar Nerman Patience

Lettische Patience

Karl enjoyed experimenting with design and production and this work was published in 1994 as a 32-card pack with one joker. The double-ended courts are, by Gerich's standards, plain with simple costume designs based on the designs of Arturs Duburs.

Lettische Patience

Cartes Turques Patience

Derived from “Cartes Turques” first made by Glanz, then later by van Genechten, Brepols & Piatnik. 3 double-ended dragon Aces and one Adam/Eve Ace with a coiled serpent.

Cartes Turques Patience

Patience Indien

Karl Gerich's “Patience Indien No.16”, published in 1991, is adapted from Grimaud's “Whist Indienne” (c.1900). The double-ended courts are dressed in Arab garb.

Patience Indien

Patience No.21

‘Patience No.21’ is a 52-card miniature deck with double-ended courts and a Joker holding a fan of cards.

Patience No.21

Kinder-Karte

First published in c.1870, children are presented in these miniature Patience cards disguised as Kings, Queens and Jacks. The Kings' crowns are slightly over-sized for their heads and the children are wearing false beards.

Kinder-Karte

Mini-Poker

Mini-Poker miniature playing cards made in China.

Mini-Poker

Clifford Toys

Clifford Toys is a brand name of F. Levy & Co., Ltd, London, sellers of toys and fancy goods.

Clifford Toys

Pigmy Playing Cards

Pigmy Miniature Playing Cards

Pigmy Playing Cards

Minnie Patience

Minnie Patience. The backs show images of Mickey & Minnie mouse dancing together.

Minnie Patience

Anonymous Novelty Cards

Miniature novelty playing cards from the late 1940s or early 1950s with a charm of their own. Probably published as small prizes at fairground or seaside amusement arcades.

Anonymous Novelty Cards

Swiss Album patience

Swiss Album patience cards manufactured by C. L. Wüst (Frankfurt), c.1900, with a different landscape on the reverse of each card. The court cards depict costumed figures along with shields from the cantons.

Swiss Album patience

Miniature Playing Cards

Crudely printed miniature children's packs produced anonymously in c.1920-30.

Miniature Playing Cards

Cigarette Cards and other ephemera

Cigarette Cards, Trade Cards, Miniature Playing Cards and other ephemera.

Cigarette Cards and other ephemera

Baraja Hoja de Afeitar

La Baraja 'Hoja de Afeitar'. Baraja de Hojas Maravilla descalificadas como de primerísima categoría.

Baraja Hoja de Afeitar

Self-Nurturing Solitaire

Self-Nurturing Solitaire by Idelle Jones,

Self-Nurturing Solitaire

Naipes tamaño Mignon, La Cubana, S.A.

Naipes tamaño Mignon, La Cubana, S.A. (Fabrica de Naipes El Aguila), Mexico, c.1960.

Naipes tamaño Mignon, La Cubana, S.A.